A small group of Palestinian Christians stands outside Gaza City's Baptist Church on a Sunday morning, waiting for the generator to power up. The church is cold and dark in the dead of winter, Israel having reduced fuel supplies to Gaza in an effort to pressure Hamas to halt rocket fire into Israel.
Freshly bound prayer books, containing traditional American hymns, are tucked into the backs of the chairs in the fifth-floor prayer room. But there are no visible religious symbols in the room or outside the building, constructed about a year ago with the help of Christian donors in the U.S. and abroad.
Just eight worshippers are present for the service, compared with more than 100 who attended Sunday prayers six months ago.
By Erica Silverman, The Washington Times, January 15, 2008
January 28, 20084454 reads
December 24, 20074248 reads“I hope that we get to the murderers soon and bring them to just trial and that will be an additional step that our government brings to our people in the direction of imposing order and security”.
That was what Palestinian Prime Minister from Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement Ismail Haniya wrote Arab Evangelical human rights lawyers Botrus Mansour and Shadi Khouri from Nazareth.
Special For "Come and See", December 24, 2007
December 20, 20073400 readsChristians broke ground Tuesday on Bethlehem’s first specialty hospital which organizers envision will be a center bringing together Christians, Jews, and Palestinians to heal the sick in a land rife with sectarian violence.
The $16.5 million surgical facility is a joint effort between Israelis, who will assist with training, and the Palestinians and Christians, who will staff the hospital. The center – located adjacent to the Shepherds’ Field where the shepherds first learned of the birth of Jesus - will serve Palestinian children in Bethlehem, West Bank.
Michelle Vu, Christian Post, Dec 18, 2007
November 15, 20074304 readsFacing the growing influence of Christian Zionists in the United States, the dwindling Christian minority in the Palestinian territories is making a renewed push to capture American hearts and minds
A delegation of Palestinian Christian mayors came to Washington last week on a lobbying mission, during which they argued the Palestinian cause. It was the first such mission ever
Nathan Guttman, WHTT Website, Nov 13, 2007
October 26, 20074868 readsThe Israeli Interior Ministry recently canceled all reentry visas for Christian Arab religious leaders who wish to travel in and out of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Haaretz has learned.
The Interior Ministry told Haaretz yesterday that the automatic reentry visa for Arab clergy had been rescinded at the request of security officials. "The ministry, along with the security officials, is trying to coordinate means of operation that would make it easier for clergymen and women to travel."
By Cnaan Liphshiz, Haaretz, October 26, 2007
October 14, 20077209 readsThe Bible Society issued an update few days after the martyrdom of Rami Ayyad who lead the only Christian book store in the Gaza Strip:" Heads of churches in the Jerusalem and the West Bank have asked the Palestinian Authority to investigate the matter and find the murders. The response from the Christian community has been very powerful and supportive. We also received phone calls from Messianic congregations whom have also showed their love and support at this time. We received hundreds of messages of support, condolences, and prayers”.
Regarding people from around the world who wish to help, the press release mentions that the Bible Societies will be providing financial support for Rami’s family through their existing insurance arrangements, and will make sure that immediate financial needs are met. In addition friends have already started to collect money to supplement this, so that long term financial security for his dependants can be assured.
Special For "Come and See", October 14, 2007
October 07, 200716298 readsRami Ayyad, a Palestinian Christian worker in the Bible Society bookstore in Gaza and one of the leaders of the Gaza Baptist Church was brutally killed this morning, as announced by the Palestinian Bible Society in Jerusalem.
The press release sent by E-mail from the Bible Society said that “We do not know the exact identity of the group who did so but we know that he was martyred for his faith in Christ. Rami was the most gentle member on the team, the ever smiling one, he was the face of our Bible shop, always receiving visitors and serving them as Jesus would. He left behind him a wife, Pauline and two little children. He also left behind him a committed team of servants of the Lord. Please pray for Rami’s family, for the team and all Christ followers in Gaza. Please pray for those who think that by killing us they offer a service to God; may they come to know His love. The hour of the ultimate cost of following Christ has come!”
Special For "Come and See", October 7, 2007
August 17, 20074406 readsThe few reports emerging from Gaza regarding the area's tiny Christian minority indicate that Palestinian followers of Jesus are under increasing pressure to either become Muslims, submit to Islamic law or leave the Gaza Strip.
Hamas, an Islamic group that won last year's Palestinian parliamentary elections, completed a military takeover of the Gaza Strip in June, handily defeating its rivals in Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.
By Ryan Jones, CNSNews.com, August 16, 2007
June 22, 20074578 readsWhile looting, sporadic violence, and instability still plague the newly Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, a Christian persecution group hopes that a long-established friendship between it and Hamas will keep the small Christian community relatively safe from targeted attacks.
Open Doors, an international ministry working with persecuted Christian, said although it fears a worsening of living conditions for Gaza inhabitants, it does not think Christians will be attacked by the Islamic fundamentalist group.
The Christian Post, June 16, 2007