It is astonishing that these Christians dared to make a public protest, since dhimmis historically know that if they complain about their lot, it just gets worse.
There Is No Compulsion in Religion Update from Gaza: “Gaza Christians protest ‘forcible conversions,'” from the Associated Press, July 17 (thanks to Joseph):
GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP “” Dozens of Gaza Christians staged a rare public protest Monday, claiming two congregants were forcibly converted to Islam and were being held against their will.
The small but noisy demonstration showed the increasingly desperate situation facing the tiny minority.
Protesters banged on a church bell and chanted, “With our spirit, with our blood we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Jesus.”
They certainly sound as if they have absorbed the ethos of the surrounding culture.
Gaza police say the two are staying with a Muslim religious official at their request, because they fear retribution from their families for converting to Islam. Two mediators said the two “” a 25-year-old man and a woman with three children “” appeared to have embraced Islam of their free will. Forced conversions have been unheard of in Gaza before.
Since Hamas seized power five years ago, Christians have felt increasingly embattled, but have mostly kept silent.
There are growing fears among Gaza Christians that their rapidly shrinking community could disappear through emigration and conversions.
Their numbers appear to have shrunk from some 3,500 to about 1,500 in recent years, according to community estimates. They are a tiny minority among 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza, most conservative Muslims.
By “conservative,” AP here means “pro-Sharia hardliner.” Only when writing about Islam in the West does the mainstream media mean “anti-Sharia freedom fighter” when they say “conservative.”