Gaza Strip evacuation complete, Christians now in the cross-hairs

By August 23, 2005

Israel (MNN) — The last Jewish settlement in Gaza was evacuated Monday, wrapping up Israel’s historic pullout from the coastal strip. This took place only after settlers held a farewell march behind Torah scrolls and a massive menorah, then boarded armored buses and left.

As the Gaza withdrawal ended, it has only escalated the fears of Palestinian believers. Brother Andrew with Open Doors just returned from Gaza where he met with Christians in the region. Open Doors, USA President Carl Moeller says, “We estimate that there (are) about 2,000 believers in Gaza, Christians. And, they are really in danger of being in the direct crossfire as the Israeli pullout continues.”

Moeller says Palestinian Christians believe a power vacuum will create tensions in the region. “There’s a real potential of a civil war in Palestine between Hamas and the PLO. That, right now, would leave our Christian brothers in the crossfire, literally, since the Gaza Baptist Church is right across the street from the Palestinian parliament and their library is across from the police station. Those would be major targets.”

This is a serious situation for the church and the future of evangelism in Gaza. “If frankly, they go, who is going to bring the Gospel to those people who live in Gaza, the Muslims. And if, Hamas and the PLO are providing resources and help to young Palestinians in frustration, they’re going to recruit suicide bombers. Who can stand up against that, but the church in Gaza.”

Moeller says Brother Andrew was able to meet with a Palestinian leader while in the region. “One leader, who I can’t mention right now, he presented him with a copy of his book ‘Light Force’ and it is about this exact issue which is the presence of the Church in the Middle East is the force for peace.

The prayers of believers around the world are needed right now. He’s asking people to pray for the safety of Christians in the region so they can continue making a difference there. Funding is also needed to help provide resources and training. $5 can print and put a Bible in the hands of a Palestinian Christian.

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