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Christians leaving Gaza for West Bank

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2008/01/15/christians_leaving_gaza_for_west_bank/9068/ Christians leaving Gaza for West Bank Published: Jan. 15, 2008 at
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2008
      http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2008/01/15/christians_leaving_gaza_for_west_bank/9068/

      Christians leaving Gaza for West Bank
      Published: Jan. 15, 2008 at 3:24 PM

      GAZA, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Christians appear to be
      leaving Gaza, mostly for the West Bank, fearful
      of attacks by radical Muslims following the Hamas takeover.

      At the Baptist Church in Gaza, only eight people
      attended service on a recent Sunday morning, The
      Washington Times reports. Six months ago, attendance was around 100.

      The congregation's pastor, Hanna Massad, left for
      the West Bank after a prominent member, Rami
      Eyad, was killed in October in a bombing of his religious bookstore.

      The Christian community in Gaza was small and is
      now believed to number about 3,000. Most are
      Greek Orthodox, with a few hundred Catholics and a handful of Baptists.

      Most Christians do not blame Hamas for attacks
      but say that the coup in Gaza has encouraged more radical groups.

      Father Artymos is priest at the 16-century St.
      Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church. He said
      Christians and Muslims have been able to live in
      peace as neighbors -- although Christian groups
      are banned from converting Muslims.

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