(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a video address on Christmas Eve wishing Christians in Israel and worldwide, a Merry Christmas.
"From Jerusalem, I wish Israel's Christian community and Christians everywhere a very joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Netanyahu went on to express pride in Israel's singular support of persecuted Christians, particularly in the Middle East.
"I'm proud to say that Israel is one of the few countries in the Middle East, maybe the only country in the Middle East where Christians are truly free to practice their faith openly, freely to celebrate Christmas and other Christian holidays. The state of Israel is a beacon of liberty in a Middle East plagued by oppression and extremism. Here everyone can practice their faith because in Israel, religious freedom is sacred."
"It's my fervent hope, my fervent prayer that 2016 is marked by greater security and freedom for all Christians across the Middle East. May the coming year bring the blessings of peace and prosperity for all humanity. So on behalf of the people of Israel, on behalf of the Israeli government, I wish all our Christian friends a very Merry Christmas and I also invite you, come to Israel. Thank you,” Netanyahu added.