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West Bank and Gaza

Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.

 

 

Christians Fight for Middle East Religious Freedom Watchdog

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Christians face a rising level of religious freedom around the world, and especially in the Middle East. Two recent studies from respected research organizations, Pew Forum and Open Doors, have highlighted the massive scale of the issue. Many are pushing for the United States to make the protection of religious minorities a core part of foreign policy, which the administration says that it already is. The problem has been in the failure to back the rhetoric with action. While there are political issues involved, it is imperative that the positions that exist to protect religious minorities be quickly filled if the United States is to have any credibility behind its claims to be a defender of religious freedom.

Congress Hears Testimony on ‘Flagrant’ Christian Persecution in Middle East

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Lawmakers listened to testimony from experts and religious leaders highlighting the persecution of Christians that is rampant across the Middle East. As a representative from the Vatican stated, Arab Christians “find themselves the target of constant harassment for no reason other than their religious faith.” The United States has an important role to play in leading the conversation to find solutions to religiously based discrimination and persecution.

Hamas Cracks Down on Christians; Pushes Conversion to Islam

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Christians living in the Gaza Strip live under the reality of ongoing attacks on both churches and individuals. Living under the control of Hamas which considers Christians as infidels, the situation is more serious than you can imagine, Hazem Shanab said. Hamas controls all churches and mosques implements their ideology in all sectors of life, even to rewriting textbooks to match their worldview.

Do Christians Have a Future In the Middle East?

Monday, October 7th, 2013

One of the most overlooked factors in understanding the political and cultural dynamics of the Middle East is the presence of the regions Christian communities. As the region has been in a state of upheaval for the past two years it has left many of these Eastern Christians wondering what future is left for them in the lands where they have lived for 2000 years. The reasons they are being driven out are numerous. They range from the very real threats of violence that has seen thousands killed as a result of their faith, to more subtle but just as damaging legal and political repression that clearly communicates they are no longer welcome as full members of society.

Christian Schools in Gaza Strip Threatened with Closure

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

As a result of a new degree issued by the Hamas government that oversees the Gaza strip five Christian schools are threatened to be unable to offer classes for more than 1000 students when classes are scheduled to start in September. The decree issued by the government places a ban on co-educational classes for all students over the age of 10. The result of this action, which is just another of the many pressures on Christians living in this area, will be that the schools are forced to close as the funds do not exist to recruit enough teachers or space and the impact will ripple through the community having effects on both the Christian and Muslim families who were served by the schools.

Hamas Imposes Islamization on Schools in Gaza

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Christian Schools in Gaza Face Forced Closures

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Five Christian schools are set to be closed down in Gaza as a result of a decision taken by the Hamas government. The decision is to ban coeducational institutions as a reflection of an increasing conservative Islamic value system. While the law does not specifically target Christians the only coeducational schools are the two Catholic and three Christian schools. The two Catholic schools would be forced to shut down, ending their service to more than 1,000 students.

Christianity faces a Middle Eastern exodus

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

The Arab Spring quickly turned to winter for Christians following the political rise of Islamists and increased assaults on Christians and churches. As a result, thousands of Christians have fled or are preparing to flee Egypt, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries. The Kansas City Star takes an inside look at why Christians are leaving and what the future holds.

The Mideast’s Vanishing Christians

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Christians throughout the Middle East are being attacked and killed while thousands upon thousands have fled their homeland in hopes of finding a safe haven in western countries. For example, in Iran, the Revolutionary Guard has taken over the oversight of churches and has arrested scores of Christian converts from Islam. In Kuwait, the Saudi grand mufti told crowds that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.” In Gaza, Christians have allegedly been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. These cases are just a few of many extreme acts and threats of persecution in the Middle East that The National Interest brings to light in this revealing article.

Thousands of Christians Flee Persecution in Middle East

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

“Christianity began in the Middle East, and now Christians are being forced to flee their homes in record numbers. They are fleeing the Middle East due to persecution and political turmoil,” Catholic Online reports.

Who Will Save the Christians in the Gaza Strip?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

"Radical Islam, and not checkpoints or a security fence, remains the main threat to defenseless Christians not only in the Palestinians territories, but in the entire Middle East as well," Khaled Abu Toameh writes for the Gatestone Institute.

Gaza Christians protest forced conversions to Islam

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

“Dozens of Gaza Christians staged a rare public protest Monday, claiming two congregants were forcibly converted to Islam and were being held against their will,” The Associated Press reports.

Muslim Persecution of Christians: March, 2012

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Raymond Ibrahim writes for the Gatestone Institute that, “Saudi Arabia's highest Islamic legal authority decreed that churches in the region must be destroyed… American teachers in the Middle East were murdered for being Christian or talking about Christianity; churches were banned or bombed, and nuns terrorized by knife-wielding Muslim mobs.” Ibrahim’s series, titled ‘Muslim Persecution of Christians,’ is published each month to document cases of persecution – whether it be general discrimination, arrests, or murder – committed by Muslims in majority Islamic countries, Asia and the West.

CBS piece on Christians’ plight in Middle East — in Israel?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

At a time when Christian communities throughout the Middle East are being oppressed and massacred, Bob Simon on “60 Minutes” instead chooses to focus attention on the relatively minimal persecution occurring in the Holy Lands.

Christians of the Holy Land

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

“In Iraq and Egypt, scores of churches have been attacked, hundreds murdered. In Syria, revolution seriously threatens Christian communities. The one place where Christians are not suffering from violence is the Holy Land: but Palestinian Christians have been leaving in large numbers for years,” CBS reports.

The plight of Palestinian Christians

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Jerusalem Post reports on the severe and long-standing persecution Palestinian Christians have faced under Israeli occupation and their own government.

Tough road to Jerusalem for Palestinian Christians

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

While Israel works to secure its borders, most Palestinians from the West Bank, Christian as well as Muslim, must get Israel's permission to visit Jerusalem, the National reports.

Palestinian Authority Declares Baptist Church Illegitimate in West Bank

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The Palestinian Authority declared that the First Baptist Church of Bethlehem, which is adjacent to the site of Jesus' birthplace, is illegitimate, the Christian Post reports.

How friendly is Israel to its Christians?

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

The Palestinian Christians’ response to an article written by Michael Oren, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, concerning the protection of Christians within Israel. Article titled: “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians"

One Year After Arab Spring, the Middle East Needs Christ’s Message of Peace

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

While the future of the church in the West Bank town of Bethlehem is in jeopardy, Christians are not endangered but flourishing is Israel, Michael Oren writes in The Wall Street Journal.

Islamic religious persecution goes unnoticed

Friday, February 17th, 2012

“The persecution, in some regions genocide, of Christians and other religious groups is the most important international human rights issue willfully ignored by the American media and our government,” the Washington Times reports.

‘Arab Spring’ becoming Nightmare for Christians

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

"Rise of Islamic groups bringing wave of intimidation, persecution," World Net Daily reports.

Christianity in the Middle East… But There’s a Slim Hope in History

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

“Fear is… a sentiment voiced often these days by Arab Christians, a sad refrain for an ancient community that was so long a force in politics and culture in the Arab world. These days, a community that still numbers in the millions — with the largest populations in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Palestinian territories — finds itself little more than a spectator to events reshaping a place it once helped create, and sometimes a victim of the violence that those events have unleashed,” The New York Times reports.

Christianity Threatens to be Extinct in its Birthplace

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

“The real danger of having no Christian presence in the Middle East within the next 5 years will be one of the main topics at a upcoming conference hosted by Dr. Rob Dalrymple Director of the Bible Accadamy at Cornerstone Fellowship.”

The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

“Today, Christians, regardless of affiliation, are being systematically harassed, persecuted, and murdered throughout the Middle East, the region of the globe from which Christianity first emerged,” the American Thinker reports.

Christians nearly absent in Holy Land

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

“By now, the threat facing Christianity in its birthplace is depressingly clear. Christians represented 30 percent of British Mandate Palestine in 1948, while today in Israel and the Palestinian Territories they’re 1.25 percent,” reports the National Catholic Reporter.

Middle East: Harder to bear

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

The Financial Times reports on the rise of persecution and decline of Christianity throughout the Middle East.

Leader of Palestinian Salafi-Jihadi Group: It Is Permissible to Kill Jewish and Christian Civilians In Jihad, Since They Are ‘Fundamentally Not Innocent’

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that the leader of a Gaza-based terrorist network issued a fatwa stating that while Islam prohibits the killing of innocents, Jews and Christians may be targeted because they are not innocent but "aggressive combatants."

Bomb Thrown at Christian Doctor’s Car in Gaza

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

“Christians in Gaza have faced increasing persecution since Hamas wrested control of the Strip in June 2007,” CBN reports.

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Other Projects

other projects

ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.