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Gaza Christians Protest Forced Conversions to Islam

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Jul 18
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Christians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip are taking a stand against forced conversions to Islam, CBN News reports. In an unusual public demonstration, men and women gathered in front of the Church of Saint Porphyrius Monday to protest the abduction and forced conversion of members of their congregation -- a 25-year-old man and a 31-year-old mother of three -- who are now staying with a Muslim official for "protection" from their Christian families. Forced conversion to Islam is not a new phenomenon in Gaza, but public protests by Christians are, according to Labib Nabanat, coordinator of the Israeli and Palestinian Bible Societies. "In the past, there were cases involving women, whole families and younger men," Nabanat said. "But there has never before been such a public protest by Christians, which means they've reached the point of terrible desperation. ... There's no doubt that the general atmosphere on the street under the rule of an Islamist government has Christians feeling more and more under pressure."