Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Christian bookstore bombed in Gaza

The harassment and terror visited on the Christian minority in the Palestinian territories by Islamist extremists is quite distressing, especially given the deep roots of Christianity in the country. The only place where the Christian population is increasing in the Middle East is in Israel proper. The global Christian community is not actively defending their co-religionists, in part because most Christians in the region are Orthodox, not Protestant or Catholic. More importantly, much Christian attention and advocacy is directed against Israel, while ignoring the plight of Christians. I don't know what it would take to put Christians on the map. Their situation, in the Palestinian territories as well as in Lebanon and the Copts in Egypt, is one of the greatest instances of religious persecution today. --Wendy Leibowitz

Bombs hit Christian bookshop, Internet cafe in Gaza
15 Apr 2007
Source: Reuters
By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA, April 15 (Reuters) - Bombs damaged a Christian bookstore and an Internet cafe in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian police said, with no claim of responsibility.

Attacks against Christian sites in the territory are rare, but at least 40 Internet cafes and video shops have been blown up in the past few months. Many of the bombings were claimed by a previously unknown group, "The Righteous Swords of Islam".

The bombings came a day after the Palestinian cabinet ratified a security plan aimed at stopping mounting lawlessness in the Gaza Strip, where rival factions have frequently clashed.

Residents said an explosion before dawn at the Protestant Holy Bible Society in Gaza City blew out windows and ignited a fire that burned shelves of books. Police said a bomb caused the blast.

Elsewhere in Gaza City, a bomb destroyed an Internet cafe, police said.

Some 3,000 Christians live among 1.5 million Muslims in Gaza. Relations between the communities have been good.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, an Islamist group that formed a unity government with the secular Fatah faction last month, said the new administration was determined "to end security anarchy".
more at: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L15587768.htm

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