A ray of hope is the small but growing number of converts from Islam to Christianity.
The dynamics of Christian persecution in the Palestinian Territories are complex. Christians are squeezed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, their ethnicity causing many restrictions from the Israeli side and their religion putting them in a minority position within the Palestinian community. The territories are effectively under different governments. The West Bank’s ruling Fatah party is formally based on secular principles, and Christians enjoy several rights. Though Christians are largely tolerated by Islamist Hamas, the rights of Christians are neither upheld nor protected in Gaza. Apart from this discrimination, Christians face threats from radical Islamic vigilante groups. The total number of Christians has been decreasing in both areas over time due to emigration and lower birth rates. A ray of hope is the small but growing number of converts from Islam to Christianity.
This summer, Open Doors provided five, young Catholic believers from Gaza with the opportunity to travel to Poland and participate in the “World Youth Day” event in Krakow. Over the course of this five day gathering, over three million believers celebrated their faith.