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Middle East Issues





New York Times Magazine Corrects Error On Christian Population


In response to correspondence from CAMERA, The New York Times Magazine has laudably corrected an error in a recent story about Christians in the Middle East.

The original article, "Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?" by Eliza Griswold, stated the following:

From 1910 to 2010, the number of Christians in the Middle East — in countries like Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan — continued to decline; once 14 percent of the population, Christians now make up roughly 4 percent.

This sentence masked significant growth in Israel's Christian population. According to this chart from the Statistical Abstract of Israel, there were 34,000 Christians living in Israel in 1949. The vast majority of these Christians were of Arab descent. The same chart indicates that 153,000 Christians live in Israel in 2010. Most of these are native born Christians, indigenous to Israel. Information from the Statistical Abstract of Israel produced in the year 2011 indicates that there were 122,000 Arab Christians living in Israel in 2010.

The upshot is that the population of indigenous Christians living in Israel increased substantially between 1949 and 2010. This increase is remarkable given the declines that have taken place in neighboring countries. By lumping Israel in with its neighbors, where the population of Christians has declined, the article misinformed readers.

In response to CAMERA's request for a correction, The New York Times Magazine appended the following correction to the story in question.

Correction: July 30, 2015
 
An earlier version of this article described incorrectly the Christian population in the Middle East. It was the percentage of the Middle Eastern population that was Christian that declined between 1910 and 2010, not the total number of Christians.

This correction will appear in Sunday's print magazine.


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