Gaza City

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Gaza City
Gaza jan 09.jpg


Country State of Palestine
Region Gaza Strip
Settled 15th century BC
Population 645,576
Area (sq mi) 17 sq mi
Population density (/sq mi) 34,000 sq mi
Demonym Gazan
Co-ordinates 31°31′N 34°27′E

Gaza City is the biggest city in the Gaza Strip and has about 500,000 inhabitants. It is controlled by Islamic terror organization Hamas since 2006.[1] Most inhabitants of Gaza are Sunni Muslims, and most of the Christians are Greek Orthodox. It also was an ancient city in pre-Christian times, and was subsequently mentioned in the Bible.

Christians in Gaza Strip

Main article: Palestinian Authority#Christian minority
Greek Orthodox Christians in the Gaza Strip.
Maronite Catholic Church in Gaza which has direct line with the Pope.

The Arab Palestinians are roughly 94% Muslim. 89% of Christians in Gaza are Greek Orthodox while 9.3% are Catholic and 1.52% belongs to other denominations.[2] Pope Francis affirmed in 2024 that he calls the "church in Gaza every day".[3][4]

The Gaza Strip is currently under the control of Hamas, an Islamic terrorist organization. Christians face persecution and pressure to convert and have next to no rights[5] however they have managed to coexist with/under Muslims as they share the struggle. When Mar Mari Emmanuel visited the Gaza Strip (years before 2023) he got along with the people there, even with Muslims.[6] Some work in Israel as thousands flock to enter Israel for work.[7] (Despite Gazans in general being under blockade from Egypt and Israel due to security[8]).

There are three churches in Gaza: Catholic, Greek Orthodox, the Near East Council of Churches, Myrrh Bearers Society, the Orthodox Council of Churches and Baptist. Also the Ahli Arab Hospital is Christian.[2] [9][10] [11]

At least since 2012, Gaza Christians sense pressure to convert to Islam [12]

2019 report cited "Islamic oppression" as the main source of persecution at Christian small minority of Arab Palestinians.[13]

Since the 2007 Israel blockade of Gaza, Christians have not being able to visit Holy Sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, having the same struggle as other Gaza inhabitants. This has led many to hold extreme positions "which does not differentiate between race and religion", warns a report from the Young Men’s Christian Association.[2]

Palestinian Christians in Gaza fear for the future of their tiny community.[14] This sentiment of fear of disappearing grew after the Israel-Gaza War that started in 2023.[15]

See also

External links

References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6754499.stm
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Struggling Christian Minority In Gaza. Greek Reporter (August 11, 2014).
  3. Pope Francis: ‘I call the church in Gaza every day’. Middle East Monitor (May 23, 2024).
  4. Pope Francis contacts only Catholic Church in Gaza as carnage continues. Fox News (October 10, 2023).
  5. http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/worldwatch/palestinian_territories.php
  6. I WENT TO GAZA STRIP AND THIS IS WHAT I FOUND - theChristianCommunity
  7. Al-Monitor. "Thousands of Gazans flock to get work permits in Israel." Oct 8, 2021. [1]
    Thousands of unemployed Gazans are flocking to the offices of the Chambers of Commerce to submit their papers to obtain a permit to work inside Israel, following reports that Israel has agreed to grant 2,600 commercial permits to Gaza residents.

    Gera. Gershon. Belik.

    X · gershon27 (June 10, 2022):
    This Arab man from Gaza shows how bad Hamas has made life in Gaza. He works for 12 hours non-stop and only gets 20 shekels ($6) for the entire day. Then people wonder why so many Gazans flock to Israel for work as they get paid decently here.

    Arab MK advocate for 'citizens law' for more Palestinians to becomes Israeli...

    Meir Asraf (@ pSn7rhTfRb7rLxh) Tweeted (June 24, 2021):
    @mennyassyag Citizenship Law... Unification of Families Gaza residents are flocking to the... state.
  8. NPR, Oct 10, 2023. "What is the Gaza Strip?" [2]
    The strip has been under a blockade by Israel and Egypt...
  9. http://www.worldmag.com/2010/04/tested_by_fire
  10. http://www.explorecorps.org/Reports_From_The_Field/Entries/2009/2/15_Gazas_Church_of_Saint_Porphyrius.html
  11. http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=25263
  12. Nidal al-Mughrabi, "Gaza Christians sense pressure to convert to Islam", Reuters, July 26, 2012
  13. A Christian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post, Dec 25, 2019.
    In the Gaza Strip, the Christian population has plummeted from about 3,000 a decade ago to an estimated 1,000 today, most of them Greek Orthodox.
    ...

    “Though the Christians in the PA avoid saying so publicly, many of them fear – with good reason – that Muslim aggression against them will only escalate,” wrote Edy Cohen, a researcher at the center. “Such fears are all the stronger in light of the thunderous silence of the Western [and Israeli] media, in the face of the Christian minority’s ongoing disappearance from the PA and Islamic lands in general.”

    He added, pointedly, that “the ongoing international neglect of the plight of the Christians under PA rule can only lead to the vanishing of Christianity from the place where it emerged.”

    In the Gaza Strip, the Christian population has plummeted from about 3,000 a decade ago to an estimated 1,000 today, most of them Greek Orthodox...

    The situation of Christians in Bethlehem has deteriorated dramatically in the last century, and especially since the PA took control of the city in 1995. In 1947, Christians comprised about 85% of the city’s population, but that figure had plunged to 16% by 2016, and is estimated since then.

    Bethlehem’s mayor at the time said that, “Due to the stress – either physical or psychological – and the bad economic situation, many people are emigrating: either Christians or Muslims, but it is more apparent among Christians because they already are a minority.”

    A study by the Pew Research Center found that the decline in the Arab Christian population was both a result of a lower birth rate among Christians compared to Muslims and the fact that Christians were more likely to emigrate than any other religious group. A statistical analysis of the Christian exodus cited a lack of economic and educational opportunities among a community known for its middle-class status and higher education.
  14. Gaza Christians fear for future of tiny community. Fox News (July 25, 2012).
  15. Holy Land Custos: Fear is growing that Gaza's Christians will disappear. Vatican News (October 10, 2023).