July 17, 2012
Tags: anti-christian, Christian Persecution, gaza
Mark 13:13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”
“Most of us have no idea what real persecution is like, and maybe that is why our fellowship is often so fickle and superficial.”
-Jim Bakker in "The Refuge"
Christians are being forced to accept the Islamic religion by the dozens in the Gaza Strip, and are being detained in custody against their will, under Hamas rule.
Christian protesters rang their church bell and decreed loudly “With our spirit, with our blood, we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Jesus.”
Forced conversions have been previously unheard of and the Gaza police are saying that two apostate Christians are staying with a Muslim religious official at their own request because they fear retribution from their families after freely, of their own free will, embracing Islam.
Christians have felt increasing pressures of oppression and harassment since the Islamic militant Hamas seized power five years ago, but have kept silent till now. There is a feeling of ever growing desperation in the air as they see their small community of Christian fellowship shrinking because of the persecution, emigration and conversions.
At one time, there were around 3,500 Christians in the Gaza Strip but their number has dwindled to about 1,500. They are feeling the pinch of being a minority among 1.7 million Palestinian Muslims.
Huda Al-Amash, mother of one of the so-called Islamic converts, Ramez (25 years old) says “If things remain like this, there’ll be no Christians left in Gaza.” Huda sat in a darkened church hallway sobbing with her two daughters along with a dozen other women. “Today it’s Ramez. Then who, and who will be next?”
The changing of one’s faith in the Arab world is deeply troubling because religion is profoundly woven into the fabric of their lives, their identity and tribal values.
Several groups of men and women stood around the ancient church square of Saint Porphyrius, as if mourning their loss. One man irately hit the church bell and among the others you could hear the incantation, “Bring back Ramez,” spoken in their travail, anger and discouragement.
Huda Al-Amash (mother of Ramez Al-Amash) cried out in despair, “People are locking up our sons and daughters.” We are worried about the ideas people are putting in their heads.