West Bank and Gaza
Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
Saturday, February 11th, 2012
"Rise of Islamic groups bringing wave of intimidation, persecution," World Net Daily reports.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Sunday, April 24th, 2011
The Financial Times reports on the rise of persecution and decline of Christianity throughout the Middle East.
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."
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
“Christians in Gaza have faced increasing persecution since Hamas wrested control of the Strip in June 2007,” CBN reports.