Gaza Christians Fear Kidnappings and Forced Conversions to Islam
The Greek Orthodox Church in the Gaza Strip says that at least five Christians have recently been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. According to the Gatestone Institute, a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank, Archbishop Alexios—the head of the Greek Church in the Gaza Strip—has come under fire from Muslim Palestinians and Hamas for speaking publicly about the issue.
Islamic groups claim that those who converted to Islam did so voluntarily, and they released a video of a young Christian man declaring that he converted voluntarily to Islam as proof. However, the Christians in the area have accused a prominent Hamas man of organizing the kidnapping and forced conversion of a Christian woman and her three daughters.
Recently, the 2,000-member Christian community in the Gaza Strip held a sit-in strike to protest the alleged forced conversions. They now fear Muslim reprisal and believe that no one from the global Christian community wants to help their cause.
“We only hear voices telling us to stay where we are and to stop making too much noise… If they continue to turn a blind eye to our tragedy, in a few months there will be no Christians left in Palestine. Today it’s happening in the Gaza Strip, tomorrow it will take place in Bethlehem,” said a Christian man in Gaza City.