Christians under the Palestinian Authority Persecuted
April 23, 2000 Christians in Palestinian Authority (PA)-administered territories and in certain Arab communities in Israel have found themselves facing KGB style tactics, including life threats. Prayer meetings, worship services, gatherings and conferences, etc. are under surveillance by observers positioned by the Authority, following a PA law dictating that six people cannot be in one place without notifying the government. Christians known to the PA have been accused of acting against the Muslim faith, as the PA witness these Christian congregational ministries growing among the Muslim majority. There is constant concern about the future of such churches in areas under the Palestinian's control. The current PA policy in regards to the exercise of the individuals right to religious freedom strains its democratic claim at this juncture of the Final Status Talks. The policy of the PA is so severe that it is in conflict with the provisions of the International Religious Freedom Act in the U.S. Under the latter's provisions, abrogation of human rights, as the PA threatens, could bring the PA under U.S. trade sanctions. Israeli Arab New Testament believers face injustice, lack of mercy and meanness of spirit. In the PA, they are confronted with betrayal and torture. This is sometimes even resulting in internal distrust among Arab Christians towards one another.
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