Rafidia or Rafidiya is a neighborhood in the western part of the Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 city of Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

. It was a separate village until it was merged into the municipality in 1966. There are currently three Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christians are Arabic-speaking Christians descended from the people of the geographical area of Palestine. Within Palestine, there are churches and believers from many Christian denominations, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic , Protestant, and others...

 families and a Muslim one, although Christians number only over 700. In 1961, Rafidia had 923 inhabitants, rising to 1,200 in 1983.


Rafidia was originally owned by the prominent Touqan
Touqan is a prominent Palestinian & Jordanian family based in Nablus and Al-Salt. During Ottoman times they were the only household that ever came close to centralizing all of the District of Nablus under their rule, and their members held the post of district chief longer than did any other local...

 family of Nablus. They ceded it to an Arab Christian family with Ghassanid origins from al-Karak, in modern-day Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in the 17th century. According to tradition, the family, consisting of a father, and his three sons and daughter had fled al-Karak to avoid marrying the daughter, Rafid, to Emir Udwan, a Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 prince of the city. They initially migrated to Taybeh
Taybeh is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, 35 kilometers north of Jerusalem and 12 kilometers northeast of Ramallah in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate, 850 meters above sea level. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Taybeh had a population of 1,452 in 2007...

 through the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

, but then moved north towards Nablus. At the time, there was one Muslim family in the area, al-Hassouneh, and after the Christian family settled, the two families split the land and the water between themselves equally. The village was named "Rafidia" in honor of Rafid.


The Church of St. Justinus of Nablus is a Roman Catholic church built in 1887. In 1907, the Rosary sisterhood arrived in Nablus and Rafidia to serve the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is the title possessed by the Latin Rite Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem. The Archdiocese of Jerusalem has jurisdiction for all Latin Rite Catholics in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Cyprus...

 and assist the priest in the service of the church by visiting the families and teaching children. They also set up the Rosary Sisters School in Nablus and Rafidia. As a result of the earthquake that hit Nablus in 1927, the church was damaged, but the Patriarchate renovated it and the church was reopened in 1931.

The Church of St. Justinus underwent further renovation and expansion throughout various periods. In 1956, the new bell tower was built and the church was expanded, and then in 1980, the church was again renovated, expanded and painted with fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

s and adorned with stained glass windows with church-related drawings.

The Protestant Church of St. Matthew the Anglican was formerly a house that was rented in 1932 by the parish. The guest room was used as the church and the other rooms were used as a school for the church from that date on. It was never built as a church, but a house rented out to become a church and a Protestant school.
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