By: United with Israel Staff
Hamas continues to oppress Christians living under its rule, while Israel works to facilitate their right to religious freedom.
Islamic terrorists in the Gaza Strip have warned local Christians against celebrating their end-of-the-year holidays.
The Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of armed Palestinian terror groups, published a flyer featuring a burning Christmas tree and threats in Arabic forbidding the Christian celebrations, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The flyer from the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades features a verse from the Quran, warning Muslims “not to go the way of the Jews and the Christians” because “indeed God is not for the evil people.”
The terror organization cautioned that it is “absolutely forbidden” to celebrate the holidays in any capacity, and the Jerusalem Post cited a Gaza government source as saying that the flyer was aimed at both Muslims and Christians living in Gaza.
Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules the Strip, has in previous years issued notices to restaurants and hotels, banning establishments from throwing New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Before Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, the Christian population in the coastal enclave was over 3,000. Today, just 1,000 Christians remain, most of them Orthodox.
Christians and their property have occasionally come under attack since Hamas seized power.
While the Christian population is shrinking under Palestinian rule, it is steadily growing in Israel, the only country in the Middle East that safeguards Christians and enables them to practice their faith freely and safely.
Israeli authorities have worked to facilitate Palestinian celebrations, easing security restrictions in honor of the season’s holidays.
In Israel, Christian pilgrims and locals held mass celebrations on Monday night at various locations throughout Israel to celebrate the holidays.