As persecution increases, your family needs your support to keep faith and hope alive
Printable sheet with key facts, figures, information and prayer points. Useful for your church noticeboard or prayer group.
Leader: President Mahmoud Abbas
Population: 4.8 million (42,000 Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Interim administration
World Watch List Rank: 24
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism
Being neither of Jewish ethnicity nor of the Islamic religion, Palestinian Christians have faced challenges in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Christians in the West Bank generally enjoy religious freedom, despite the secular government. In Gaza, though Christians are largely tolerated by Hamas, their rights are neither upheld nor protected. Christians also face threats from radical Islamic vigilante groups. In both areas, although the total number of Christians is generally decreasing, there is a growing number of Muslim-background believers (MBBs). The number of violent incidents against Christians, particularly MBBs, increased in 2015.
- For the protection of Christians from attacks and religious conversion as Islamist groups increase their activities in Gaza and the West Bank
- Praise God that a recent attempt by Hamas to impose hijabs in schools was dropped after it was opposed by the local population and human rights activists
- For Open Doors partners supporting the church through biblical training, reconciliation work and trauma counselling.
Open Doors in Action:
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors is supporting the church in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through:
- Distributing Bibles and Christian literature
- Training (biblical training, reconciliation, trauma debriefing and counselling)
- Socio-economic development (such as relief work)
- Advocacy and presence ministry (providing legal funds, safe houses).