• February 06, 2007
    reads 5398 reads
    Palestinian Authority (PA) police of the Fatah party have seized the six-story Gaza Baptist Church building as a watch point against militants supporting the governing Hamas movement. The building houses the church?s sanctuary, Gaza?s only Christian library, a guest hostel, and a mammogram clinic. Hanna Massad, pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, described the crisis as ?the worst situation we ever went through in Gaza,? more serious even than Israeli invasions. Frightened Gazans remain in their homes. Massad told Open Doors Sunday morning that early worship services had been cancelled.

    Open Doors Press Release, Feb 5, 2007

  • December 08, 2006
    reads 5188 reads
    After six months, the family of Rev. Hanna Masaad is back together in Gaza. Finally, Hanna, Suhad, Joyce and Jolene are home, preparing for the Christmas service at Gaza Baptist Church, the only Evangelical church in the Gaza Strip.

    On the other hand, November 12 was a memorable day for Gaza Baptist Church as it proudly opened a new building for the only Christian public library in Gaza.

    Come and See, Open Doors Web site, Dec 7, 2006

    Masaad family back in Gaza
  • December 05, 2006
    reads 4197 reads
    The plan of the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to renovate and upgrade nine private schools in the West Bank was recently approved for funding by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This initiative follows the redirection of aid for IOCC's prior rehabilitation of public schools after elections brought new leadership to the Palestinian Authority. It is the first time that U.S. government funding will go towards faith-based schools in the Holy Land. Nora Kort, IOCC's Head of Office in Jerusalem, talks about how this new program will bring hope and opportunity to all children in the embattled West Bank

    International Orthodox Christian Charities Website, Dec 5, 2006

  • October 26, 2006
    reads 4785 reads
    Rev. Hanna Massad shepherds Gaza Baptist Church. Four years ago, shortly after his marriage to a young Jordanian woman named Suhad, the couple was separated when the Israeli government refused to allow her to return to her husband from a visit to her parents in Amman.

    After much prayer, many letters and the efforts of an attorney in Jerusalem, Suhad finally was allowed to come home, after 14 months

    Several months ago, Suhad took their 21-month-old daughter, Joyce, to her parents' home to deliver their second daughter, Jolene. Again, however, the Israelis refused to issue visas to Suhad and their daughters.

    Ron Barckin, Assist News Service, Oct 25, 2006

    Hanna and Suhad Seperated again
  • September 20, 2006
    reads 3449 reads
    A previously unknown Muslim group calling itself "The Army of Guidance" pledged on Tuesday to strike at Christian targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for recent remarks by the pope deemed offensive by many Muslims.

    In a lecture in Germany last week, Pope Benedict XVI cited a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."

    In response, St. Perfidious, a 1,400-year-old Greek Orthodox church in Gaza, was lightly damaged Friday in an attack by unknown assailants.

    AP, Sep 19, 2006

  • September 16, 2006
    reads 4209 reads
    Unknown assailants attacked two churches in Rafidia village west of the West Bank city of Nablus late on Friday at night.

    The first attack targeted a Protestant church at midnight, the church was hit with several firebombs. Several hours later, more cocktail bombs hit the Greek Orthodox Church in the village, both churches were damaged, but no injuries were reported.

    Ghassan Bannoura, Saed Bannoura - International Middle East Media Center, & Agencies - Saturday, 16 September 2006

    Firebombs hurled at two Nablus Churches
  • September 12, 2006
    reads 4308 reads
    Palestinian gunmen today attacked and set fire to the Young Men's Christian Association headquarters in Qalqiliya, a large West Bank city controlled by Hamas.

    Local government sources identified the attackers as members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups, saying the identities of the gunmen are "well known" to Qalqiliya's security forces, which are controlled by the Hamas government.

    WorldNet Daily, Sep 9, 2006

  • September 05, 2006
    reads 3723 reads
    In its extreme form, the Christian Zionist program identifies the Gospel with "the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism" and is "detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel", say Jerusalem bishops in a hard-hitting statement.

    The statement, signed by Catholic Latin Patriarch, Cardinal Michel Sabbah (pictured), and leaders of the Syrian Orthodox, Episcopal and the Evangelical Lutheran churches in Jerusalem, directs its attack at a belief among some Christians that the defence of the State of Israel is in accordance with Biblical prophecy.

    Catholic News, Zenit, Aug 30, 2006

    Middle East Bishops condemn
  • July 28, 2006
    reads 5760 reads
    Christians in Gaza protested on Thursday against the ongoing Israeli military escalation and war in Palestine and Lebanon, and called for a just peace in the region. The protesters called for direct aid to the victims of the Israeli military aggression.

    The protest was held in the Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza City on Thursday. Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, from the ruling Hamas movement, and several Palestinians officials, participated in the protest.

    Saed Bannoura, International Middle East Media Center - Friday, 28 July 2006

    Christians in Gaza protest against the war in Lebanon, Palestine
  • June 14, 2006
    reads 3429 reads
    An attempt by Muslim clerics to close a YMCA branch office in the West Bank has exposed growing tensions between the Holy Land's dwindling Christian community and the new Palestinian government led by Hamas.

    Firebombs were recently thrown into the office of the YMCA in Qalqilya, a Hamas stronghold, forcing the group to move to new premises. Islamic leaders have written to the local council demanding that the YMCA branch office close. Their letter concludes: "The presence of this office will lead to negative consequences.''

    By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem, Daily Telegraph, 28/4/2006