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Christians in the Crossfire
By Ron Brackin
2007-02-05 Palestine (Assist News Service) — In the Gaza Strip, Sunday, January 28, a 20-year-old man was shot through the heart and killed. He was the AWANA Club driver for Gaza Baptist Church . The next morning, a bullet stuck the home of another church member, barely missing his head.
On Friday, February 2, Fatah police broke into the church. They commandeered the six-story building to use as high ground to cover the main police station next door.

“The situation in Gaza is very dangerous,” says Pastor Hanna Massad. “We are not able to leave our homes much. We continue to hear shooting, especially at night. Streets are blocked. People are afraid and confused. It is the worst situation we ever went through, even more dangerous than any Israeli invasion.”

Gaza Baptist Church is the only evangelical church in Palestine ‘s volatile Gaza Strip. The believers are surrounded by nearly 2 million Muslims. Gaza is also the stronghold of the Hamas terrorist organization.

Despite the dangers, the church’s prayer team continues to travel house to house to strengthen and encourage believers. The congregation continues to minister to hundreds of impoverished Palestinian families in neighboring refugee cities.

That they remain in Gaza at all is amazing, in light of the massive flight of an estimated 1,000 people every week out of Iraq and the steady exodus of Christians from Palestine and Lebanon .

Equally as amazing is that, in the midst of the terror, bloodshed and chaos in Gaza , two young people in the church are preparing for fulltime ministry.

“I believe in the power of prayer,” Pastor Hanna wrote in a recent email message to friends in the West. “Please unite with us before the throne of God and pray that He will protect the believers in Gaza , that He will give me the strength and wisdom to minister to the church family at this difficult time and that He will give wisdom to the leaders in Gaza to stop this evil fight.”