• October 26, 2006
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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

  • May 23, 2006
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    Canon Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Anglican priest and the founder and director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem, will receive the 2006 John Nevin Sayre Award from the Peace Fellowship of the Episcopal Church in the United States. The award is named after a founding member of the U.S. branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation

    Sabeel is a movement of Palestinian Christians working with mainstream churches in North America and Europe to host regional and international conferences, witness trips to the Holy Land, and theological education.

    Ekklesia, May 17, 2006

    Naim Ateek to receive Episcopal Peace Fellowship prize
  • April 18, 2006
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    The Palestinian Bible Society's bookshop in Gaza reopened on Monday 3 April, after a five-week closure in response to terrorists' threats to bomb the building, reports Hanna Massad, pastor of Gaza Baptist Church.

    Hanna's wife, Suhad, is the Bible Society bookshop's director. She said the bookshop reopened with permission from the Gaza Interior Ministry, over the objections of the building's owner.

    Today was very special day for us after we confronted the pressure and the power of the kingdom of darkness face to face, especially in the last four days," Hanna wrote in an e-mail to prayer partners.

    "We experienced the power of answered prayer. Thank you for praying with us and for us."

    Open Doors Web site, April 7, 2006

    Gaza Bible Society centre reopened
  • March 30, 2006
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    Hamas has announced that a Christian, who was designated tourism minister in the new government, will not be part of the government.

    Tunous Abu ?Ita, a 57-year-old businessman from Bethlehem who was named the future tourism minister, excused himself from the government at the last minute and gave no reason for the sudden withdrawal. It is believed Abu ?Ita faced internal pressures that forced him to back down.

    Meanwhile another Christian was appointed to the position of Tourism Minister ? Jooda George Jooda Morkus, a Coptic Christian Engineer from Bethlehem.

    News agencies and Alquds, March 30, 2006