Christians of the Holy Land

The exodus from the Holy Land of Palestinian Christians could eventually leave holy cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem without a local Christian population. Bob Simon reports.

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Mitri Raheb: Christianity has actually on the back a stamp saying, "Made in Palestine."

Palestinian Christians, once a powerful minority, are becoming the invisible people, squeezed between a growing Muslim majority and burgeoning Israeli settlements. Israel has occupied the West Bank for 45 years.

Mitri Raheb: If you see what's happening in the West Bank, you will find that the West Bank is becoming more and more like a piece of Swiss cheese where Israel gets the cheese that is the land, the water resources, the archaeological sites. And the Palestinian are pushed in the holes behind the walls.

Israel built the wall over the last 10 years, which completely separates Israel from the occupied West Bank. The wall was built to stop Palestinian terrorists from getting into Israel. And it's worked. Terrorism has gone down 90 percent.

At the same time, the wall completely surrounds Bethlehem, turning the "little town" where Christ was born into what its residents call "an open air prison."

Bob Simon: Do you remember the day they put up the wall?

Christie Anastas: Yeah. Actually, it was in 2003 and I was about 14 years old. I went to school one day and came back and found the wall surrounding the house.

Christie Anastas lives with her mother Claire, her father, brother and sister, in this house which is surrounded on three sides by the wall.

Bob Simon: How do you live with this?

Christie Anastas: Well, it's not easy, actually, but you get used to it. Because you have to.

The Anastas family lives on the third floor. This is the view from the kitchen, from the master bedroom and bathroom. The children's room has a good view of this Israeli guard tower.

The family runs a souvenir shop on the ground floor, sells Christian artifacts on what used to be the busiest commercial street in town. Now, it's a dead end.

Bob Simon: Members of your family have already left?

Claire Anastas: Yes.

Bob Simon: And they have asked you to leave too?

Claire Anastas: Yes.