As Christmas approaches, I thought it would be good to look at the plight of the Christians in Gaza after the Hamas takeover.
There was much talk that the Christians in Gaza were being harassed and persecuted. Indeed, after the takeover, there were isolated incidents of hate crimes against Christians in Gaza, but there are extremists in every society.
The Gazan Christians enjoy the same rights as the Gazan Muslims. The relationship between Christians and Muslims is one of mutual respect. The long history of peaceful coexistence is cherished and embodied everyday in Gaza.
Israeli oppression does not discriminate against the Palestinian Muslim or Christian. All Palestinians suffer from the occupation and all Palestinians resist the occupation.
Gazan Priest, Father Manawel Musallam :
"Of course, I am a Christian believer, but politically I am a Palestinian Muslim. I resist Israel's military occupation, obviously not with weapons. The Jihad can never be mine but with my words, my sermons, I am a Palestinian priest."Christians in Gaza have lived side by side with Muslims for many generations and they will continue to do so for many more to come.
"We are all one people who suffer together for the sake of freedom, independence and restoration of our inalienable citizenship rights," Hanyieh stated publicly. "We are waging a single struggle and refuse to allow any party to tamper with or manipulate this historical relationship, [between Muslims and Christians]."