|Sources of Persecution||Islamic Oppression|
Palestinian Territories: A Controversial Split.
The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict causes many challenges. Indigenous Christians face restrictions from the Israeli side, while their religion makes them a minority in the Palestinian community. The area is governed by three different bodies: Hamas, the Israeli military and the Fatah party. Christians find themselves under the same restrictions as the general population. The Christian population is shrinking as more people travel to find better prospects in other countries.
Christians Only Tolerated.
In Gaza, although Christians are tolerated by Hamas, they are not protected. Christians in the Gaza strip are threatened by radical Islamic vigilante groups. Israeli military law in parts of the West Bank has led to restrictions on movement which has meant Palestinian Christians cannot get to some churches. Life in this area is difficult for everyone, but Christians who convert from Islam are under even greater stress. This small group of believers often keep their faith a secret to avoid harassment and intimidation.
Outlook Is Bleak.
Outbreaks of Israeli-Palestinian unrest are expected to continue in Gaza and the West Bank. Nation-building and reform are hindered by divisions between Hamas and Fatah. The peace process is expected to stagnate and the chance of new outbursts of violence are high. This means the quality of life for everyone, including Christians, will likely decline. Some extremist groups have begun to take advantage of the situation. These groups are particularly popular with youth and will make it more difficult for Christians.
Pray for God to continue growing the small Palestinian Church.
Pray for a new resolution that would see better relations and more freedoms.
Pray for Christians to show how God’s love transcends ethnicity and conflict.