Israel (MNN) — The casualties continue to rise in Gaza as Israel continues to retaliate for the dozens of Hamas-fired missiles that broke a cease-fire more than 10 days ago. It is believed that nearly 500 people have been killed in the violence, with over 2,000 wounded.
While the violence continues in the region, Christians are facing even more difficulties. Tom Doyle with E3 Partners says Hamas voted December 23rd to institute Sharia (Islamic) law in Gaza, which means radical Islam will rule — women must be veiled, secret police will be watching everyone, and worse, says Doyle. "They also included in that the ability to crucify someone if they make a charge against Islam. It's just definitely going backwards in that community."
Doyle says the Christian community is already being affected. "The Gaza Baptist Church is right in the middle of where the action — obviously not a place where people want to going to gather in a large group." Worship services are "happening privately or in homes."
If the Hamas government is ousted by the Israelis, Doyle says there will be "cheering in the streets. They know what that government means. They know how difficult it's going to be on their family and their living conditions."
Despite the turmoil, Christians are having an impact. "We're seeing believers there reach out to help feed believers, Muslims, or nominal Christians, and they're helping out in the midst of it."
Doyle is asking Christians to pray that believers will be preserved and will use this opportunity share Christ.