Christians feel pressure as Hamas begin grappling with leadership.

By February 14, 2006

Middle East (MNN)–Christians are concerned about their future under Hamas’ rule. The new deputies suggested the introduction of at least parts of Sharia law, which sent alarm through much of the remaining community. Though leadership is trying to distance itself from the proposal, the concern remains.

There is a new power structure among Palestinians for the first time in more than 40 years. That means change is inevitable.

But what does it mean for Christians living in the area? Open Doors International’s Al Janssen has been exploring that issue. A recent bombing outside the Bible Society in Gaza has raised the tensions even more.

But for many of those who remain, it’s more an issue of support from the church in the West. “I think we need to be aware that there are Christians among the Palestinians. We need to encourage them, in any way we can, to stay and be a witness for peace.”

Janssen is Writer-in-Residence and Director of Communications for ODI. He has just co-authored a new book with Brother Andrew called ‘Light Force’, the sequel to ‘God’s Smuggler’, about Andrew’s 30 years of work strengthening the Church in the Middle East.

Based on his research, he believes the remnant church is determined. That means their teams will be there to help support and resource believers. “If they aren’t there, who’s going to be witnessing to Muslim extremists? Who’s going to go into the refugee camps and show the love of Christ right there in the place where these young jihadists are recruited?’

The leaders of the 12 different Christian churches represented in the Holy Land said, in a recent news release, that they were prepared to cooperate with a Palestinian government led by Hamas.

Continue to pray for those involved in ministry. Brother Andrew maintains his connections with Hamas leaders, all the while acting as the hands and feet of Christ among them.

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