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26 December 2008


468211.jpgMuslim groups imposed a “reign of terror” on Christians in the PA

 On September 3, 2005, hundreds of armed Palestinian Muslims torched 14 Christian homes in Taybeh, a village near Ramallah, to punish the community because one of its residents was having a relationship with a Muslim woman from a neighboring village. The Muslim woman was murdered by her own family in what they termed an “honor killing.” [1]

• The militants who took over the Church of the Nativity in April 2002 had “imposed a two-year reign of terror [on Bethlehem Christians] that included rape, extortion and executions, according to Bethlehem residents. ‘Finally the Christians can breathe freely,’ said Helen, 50, a Christian mother of four. ‘We are so delighted that these criminals who have intimidated us for such a long time are now going away.’” [2]

• “In February 2002, Palestinian Muslims rampaged against Christians in Ramallah, burning apartments and stores owned by Christians and attempted to burn down the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.” The PA failed to intervene, according to the Boston Globe. [3]

Muslim militants harass and rape Christian girls and coerce them to adopt Islamic clothing and behavior

• Inaz Jiries Hanna Muslah, a 23-year-old Palestinian Christian teacher, said that “public harassment of Christian girls began when the PA came to power after 1993. Before, [there were] no things like this. We could go everyplace we wanted….[but now] I don’t walk alone on the street because of this bad thing.” Interview (with what media outlet?)August 2002 [4]

• Sana Razi Nashash, a 24-year-old Christian woman from Beit Jallah, said sexual harassment became widespread after the PA came to power. She feels she is a “virtual prisoner” in her own home due to the pervasiveness of harassment of Christian women: “So right now I could not go to the street, even 7 o’clock I cannot go to the street alone, but before [the PA came to power], I used to go and work with no problem at night.” Interview (with what media outlet?)August 2002 [5]


Christian holy sites and cemeteries are vandalized, and worshippers are prevented from attending services

• Muslim extremists have attacked Christian facilities and clubs, the Wall Street Journal reported in July 1994. Christian graves, crosses, and statues have been desecrated. Christian cemeteries have been defaced, monasteries have had their phone lines cut, and there have been break-ins at convents. [6]

• In 1997, the Waqf (Muslim religious property) authorities attempted to break through into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, which is adjacent to the al-Hanaqa Mosque in order to install toilets on the roof of the church. The illegal construction was halted only after Israeli and world pressure. [7]


Persecution is forcing Christians to flee the PA and its increasing Islamic radicalism

• The Arab states in the Middle East all established Islam as their official religion and have “very serious issues of religious restrictions, discrimination, persecution….lack of tolerance and pluralism…[and] impose significant legal obstacles to religious freedom, contrary to the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Steven J. Coffey, US Principal Deputy Assistant of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations May 1, 1997. [8]

• “Life in [PA-ruled] Bethlehem has become insufferable for many members of the dwindling Christian minorities. Increasing Muslim-Christian tensions have left some Christians reluctant to celebrate Christmas in the town at the heart of the story of Christ’s birth,” according to a December 1997 report in the London Times. [9]

• “The Christian rate of emigration from the Territories has accelerated and the Christian population of the Territories has dropped from 15% in 1950 to barely 2% today. Many fear that soon few if any Christians will be left in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, or in Nazareth though they once were Christian majority cities.” [10]


Muslim conversion to Christianity is a crime in the PA

• Muhammed Bak’r, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was jailed and tortured in a PA prison for distributing Bibles to Muslims. “His hands were tied behind his back to a rope connected to the ceiling and he was left hanging there for several days.” [11]

• The PA arrests Palestinian converts to Christianity. In late June 1997, the PA’s Preventive Security Forces arrested a convert to Christianity for regularly attending church and distributing Bibles. He is still in prison and has been subjected to physical torture and interrogations. [12]

• In December 2002, Saeed and Nasser Salamah escaped from prison and from a death sentence for converting to Christianity in the PA and sought asylum in Israel. [13]


You do not hear about this persecution because Christians are afraid of reprisals if they speak out.

• “[1]ncidents like these are known to be widespread, but most go unreported or are denied by the victims for fear of retaliation by the PA.” JC Watts. [14]

• “Last week, five Muslims beat up a Christian boy. We are afraid. They have knives [and] guns and can do whatever they want. They can kill you simply…[for] speaking bad about them.” Mar, a Palestinian Christian from Ramallah. [15]

• Palestinian Christians often say there are good relations with the PA because of fear of speaking the truth: “There is fear. If I lived in London, I would tell you [my real name]. [Here], somebody will shoot me.” Abu Sumayah. [16]

• Former Florida Senator Connie Mack described the fear he found in Palestinian Christians. “Needless to say, these Christians met with me at considerable risk. They conveyed to me a message of fear and desperation.” [17]

• A Christian cleric in Jerusalem “compared the behavior of Christian dhimmis to that of battered wives and children, who continue to defend and even identify with their tormentor even as the abuse persists.” [18]


You do not hear about this persecution because Christian leaders ally with the PA and are separated from their people

• Latin Priest Rafiq Khoury’s “call to venerate the rule of Islam because it creates national unity ignores the heavy price Christians would pay…living under such a regime….It indicates acquiescence to an inferior position…and the abandonment of the Christian dream of a liberal, secular society that would accept them as equals.” Professor Tsimhoni [19]

• “You have to distinguish between the leadership [which was supportive of Arafat] and the people.” Christian resident of Bethlehem [20]

• “Our leaders are liars: They tell the newspapers that everything is OK. But when Christians go to the market, they’re afraid to wear crosses.” Christian man from Bethlehem [21]

• “A public opinion poll performed by a Christian academic revealed that only 48% of Palestinian Christians trust their religious leaders.” [22]

For additional information on this issue please click here.



Christians Are Persecuted Throughout the Muslim World.

There are over 50 Muslim countries around the world. All of them incorporate some elements of sharia, or Islamic law in practice. This is the same sharia law that considers conversion to Christianity an offense punishable by death. And while many Muslim countries officially allow Christian worship, most have placed restrictions on Christians, making worship difficult and even dangerous.

Here are some examples:

Egypt: Attacks by Muslim fundamentalists against Coptic Christians are common and not being effectively countered by the government. The government has conducted mass detentions, harasses and tortures Christian converts and restricts the expansion and repair of Christian facilities.

Indonesia: The government closes down churches without explanation, depriving Christians of places of worship. Christian women are forced to conform to Muslim dress codes. Churches have also been burned to the ground.

Iran: To convert from Islam to another faith is a criminal offense in Iran. Christians are routinely threatened, arrested, imprisoned and tortured because of their faith.

Jordan: Muslim woman are often killed by their own families for marrying Christian men. A court in Jordan ordered a Christian widow sent to jail because she refused to hand over her two young children to be raised as Muslims.

Lebanon: Once over half the Lebanese population, Lebanese Christians now make up 30% of the population. Civil war, persecution and anti-Christian violence have led to mass Christian emigration.

Nigeria: Northern Nigeria is mostly Muslim. The government there appears to be conducting a campaign to eradicate all evidence of Christianity in that part of the country. Anti-Christian mob violence and church burning is common.

Pakistan: Christians have been the target of trumped up charges of blasphemy. They are often the target of fundamentalist Muslims, who have even attacked Churches and schools with firearms and hand grenades. A high court judge who acquitted Christians in a blasphemy case was assassinated.

Palestinian Authority: There have been numerous reported cases of Christian worshippers and converts harassed, beaten, imprisoned and killed. In July, 2003, a Palestinian convert to Christianity was murdered and carved into four pieces as a warning to other Christians.

Saudi Arabia: All Christian worship is forbidden in the country - even within the U.S. Embassy. Christians have been jailed and deported for possessing a Bible. Saudi Muslim citizens who convert to Christianity are subject to the death penalty.

Sudan: The Muslim northern government has encouraged and facilitated attacks on Christians in the south, including mob violence and church burnings. Horrendous civil rights violations are conducted against the Christians and non-Muslims. Crucifixion and slavery have been reported.

United Arab Emirates: A Filipino pastor was arrested for distributing Christian materials. A Lebanese Christian man who married a Muslim woman from UAE was arrested, tortured and forced to divorce his wife after moving to UAE









Palestinian Authority:

Saudi Arabia:




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