Christians express concerns over their future in Gaza

By June 19, 2007

Gaza (MNN) — Christians in the Gaza Strip expressed concern about their future after Islamic militants of Hamas took control of the Palestinian territory.

Open Doors' Carl Moeller says Hamas' takeover brought weeks of violence to an end. But having Hamas in charge may not necessarily be a good thing. The social and economic infrastructure has totally broken down. "Hamas will rule in Gaza, and if that's the case, Gaza will be cut off from any aid from the outside world. We know that there are also Christians locked into that same place, there in Gaza. We're praying for them, and we are asking the Christian community to provide resources." 

The international embargo and boycott has worsened, and Gaza border crossings have been sealed, preventing supplies from reaching Gaza's 1.5 million residents, 80 percent of whom live under the poverty line.

Militants have reportedly been targeting everything that is against their view of Islam. Several sources with Open Doors have confirmed the firm grip of fear created by Muslims militants over the society. They say that especially believers from a Muslim background are afraid to be discovered and killed by militant forces. Not many have the courage to have contact with other Christians. Fear is trying to creep in everywhere.

Moeller says there's a few hundred evangelical believers trapped in Gaza. These people are caught in the crossfire, without supplies, unable to leave, but determined to share the hope of Christ. "They're caught between radical Islam on the one side and Israel on the other, and they're trying to follow after the Lord's admonition to be peacemakers in the middle of that violent place."

Pray that the political tension will cease and that a government will be established that enables the whole church to prosper.

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