The Tragedy of Palestinian Christians
This article explains about the plight of Palestinian Christians and the reasons behind exodus of Christians from Palestine .
January 9, 2008 Palestine (Hope for Today)-
STRAIGHT FROM THE JERUSALEM CLOAKROOM #210
1. Bethlehem will become a town of churches devoid of Christians, if you transfer the area to the Palestinian Authority, predicted the late Mayor of Bethlehem , Elias Freij, pleading in 1993 not to transfer the area to PLO control. The heads of Bethlehem and Beit Jallah monasteries begged the US and Israel in 1993 to refrain from transferring the area to the Palestinian Authority. Their request was denied, in order to advance the Oslo Process
2. Christian Arabs shrank from a sizeable 15% minority to a 1.5% splinter group in Judea, Samaria and Gaza . Their plight has intensified since the 1993 establishment of the Palestinian Authority, which has supported/tolerated physical, social, economic, legal and political harassment/terrorism against Christian minorities.
3. There are more Christian refugees from Beit Jallah (contiguous to Bethlehem ) in Belize , Central America , than Christians left in Beit Jallah. There are more Christian refugees from Ramallah in Michigan and in South America than Christians remaining in Ramallah. Bethlehem was transformed from a Christian – to a more than 80% Muslim majority.
5. As befits Dhimmis – Churches, convents, monasteries, Christian cemeteries, schools, homes, land and Christian women in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are subject to desecration, destruction, burning, confiscation, intimidation, rape and harassment. Bethlehem s Church of the Nativity was hijacked, in April-May 2002, by 200 Palestinian terrorists, fleeing the IDF. Nuns and priests were held hostages and the church was looted. Abu Mazen pressured Israel to allow the return of the hijackers who were previously deported by Israel to his territory.
8. Institutionalized oppression of Christians in the Palestinian Authority along with unprecedented terrorism and hate education – has been the most authentic reflection of Abu Mazens and Hamas approach toward tolerance and peaceful-coexistence.
11. A great deal of self-destructive instinct is required, in order to assume that rewarding such a rogue regime with an independent (Palestinian) state cushioned with annual foreign aid since 1994 – would serve as water and not as fuel on the fire of anti-Western terrorism and Mid East turbulence.
12. Yet, Washington s suspension of disbelief has swept Christians predicament under the Annapolis Carpet, sacrificing religious and civic liberties of Christians in Gaza , Judea & Samaria on the altar of wishful-thinking and political-correctness (the Oslo-Annapolis process).
15. Ignoring the plight of Christian minorities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and overlooking the oppressive nature of the Palestinian Authority (Abu Mazen since 1993 and Hamas since 2006) for the sake of the Peace Process guarantees repeated failure, a setback to peace and a boost to radicalism and terrorism at the expense of vital US values and national security interests.