Gaza Christians Fear For Future Of Tiny Community

Ibrahim Barzak and Diaa Hadid, Huffington Post, Jul.25, www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/25/gaza-christians-fear-for-_n_1702911.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

Christians in overwhelmingly Muslim Gaza have long fretted in private about the survival of their tiny community.

But their fears exploded publicly when two members of the flock recently converted to Islam. Christians staged a rare public protest, accusing Muslims of pulling followers from their faith.

The converts, who had been hiding to evade angry relatives, eventually surfaced and said they voluntarily changed religions. Gaza’s ruling Islamic militant Hamas movement reiterated respect for freedom of worship and Christian institutions.

But the uproar highlighted the growing sense of vulnerability among Christians here. They are a dwindling minority among a mostly devout Muslim majority, mostly hemmed into the tiny sliver of land because of movement restrictions imposed by Israel and Egypt. And they say some Muslims are doubling their efforts to convert them, emboldened by the atmosphere of Islamic fervor fostered by Hamas since it seized power in Gaza in 2007.

Read the complete article here.