Marriage, and "official" church groups, in modern Israel

On November 23, 2015 7:27 PM, "Stephen Williamson" wrote:

Subject:Marriage, and "official" church groups, in modern Israel

Hi all

While studying those marriages back in early scripture, I thought I’d spend a few days doing some research into marriages in modern Israel. Some of you may find this interesting

Firstly, there’s no such thing in Israel as going and getting married in an Israeli Government “registry” office.

While they accept people can be married that way in other countries, and those marriages may then be recognized in Israel at a certain level, to be married inside Israel, with its current population of 8 million people, it has to be done in a “religious” setting, i.e. one authorized by

(a) the Jewish Rabbinate (with all their rules, and that’s for 75% of the population),

(b) the Muslim authorities (18% of the population),

(c) Druze (2%) a monotheist mob that acknowledge Abraham, Platonic ideals, reincarnation


(d) one of the acknowledged Christian churches (just 2%).


There are currently ten acknowledged Christian church authorities:

Speaking English

1. Anglican Communion. Membership worldwide: 80 million+ with the Anglican diocese in Jerusalem overseeing about 7,000 members in the Middle East, that includes Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. This is the only western “Protestant” church recognized, in 1970, with a special arrangement then added for Lutherans, I think they see the other western churches and ministers, that’s including the “Hebrew Christian” and “Jewish Messianic” churches a little bit as “johnny-come-latelies”.

Incidentally, the Anglican church's official position on Israel politically as a "Jewish state", is one of opposition, similar to the official position of the nine church authorities below and in fact most church authorities worldwide. Click here for further background.

Speaking Latin

2. Roman Catholic. Membership worldwide: 1¼ billion+. In Jerusalem the Latin-speaking Catholic Community numbers about 20,000 (with 10,000 in the West Bank and Gaza).

Speaking Greek

3. Eastern Orthodox Communion with Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul) "first among equals".
Church membership worldwide: 230 million+ an "umbrella" organization to
Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. Membership in Palestine, Jordan and Israel: 200,000 to 500,000. The Patriarch oversees the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in old Jerusalem. Prior to 1845 his residence was mostly in Constantinople in Turkey, with much corruption and disorder apparently occurring down in Jerusalem. After 1845, in Jerusalem, he gained access to finance for numerous new building projects with the assistance of the Czarist Russian Government. Up to 1917 the Czar saw himself as the protector and benefactor of all Orthodox Christians. This all changed with the October/November Revolution, and the arrival of the British in Jerusalem in December 1917. Click here for further background.

Speaking Arabic


Speaking Aramaic

6,7,8. One of the three “Aramaic” churches, the first two of which also trace their origins back to the earliest days of the Greek speaking Church in Antioch:

Speaking Armenian

9,10. Lastly, the two Armenian churches, firstly the Armenian Apostolic Church. Membership worldwide: 9 million and in Israel: c.4,000. Headquarters in Armenia. Traces its origins back to the early apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus. They also broke with the Greeks, and Rome, over the “definition” of Christ’s human makeup in 450AD.
Much later in 1742, Pope Benedict XIV formally established an Armenian Catholic Church with its headquarters in Beirut in Lebanon. Membership worldwide: 737,000 and in the Holy Land: c.900. In full communion with Rome.

Blessings all Steve