In the city of Gaza, militants have distributed flyers threatening to bomb the Palestinian Bible Society Center. The extremists ordered the landlord to evict the Bible society and tenants to vacate the premises.
"We take this [threat] very seriously," a spokesman for the Bible Society told the Open Doors ministry, an international Christian persecution watch-group.
The statement read, "Be aware that we are watching you closely. You spread a doctrine against Islam and are operating a Crusaders' evangelistic campaign supported by the Crusaders from the West."
Part of the threat was carried out, Feb. 3, around 11 p.m., when an explosive device was detonated at the door of the center, destroying steel and glass doors. The militants have set the deadline for the eviction at around the end of February, though the exact date for the planned attack is uncertain.
Though the Bible Society has alerted Palestinian authorities and the office of Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, the organization continues to ask Christians to give much needed prayers.
"Further, we call upon the Church to lift us up before the Lord and pray for us. We want to trust in the Lord and His protection. We do not want to give in to the threats of the enemy," said the Bible Society spokesman.
Violence, meanwhile, continues in the West Bank unabated despite optimistic forecasts of peace following the election of the new Hamas government. The death toll since the start of the September 2000 Palestinian violence has risen to 4,957, according to the Agence France Presse. The news agency also reported that the highest number of those killed comprised of Palestinians.
Christians continue to bear the brunt of mounting pressures from growing Islamic fundamentalism within the nationalistic Palestinian movement. Of 1.3 million people residing in Gaza, only 2,000 profess to be Christians.
A local Arabic Christian worker reported that the situation continues to be “very dangerous and serious.”
“Please pray and stand with the believers of Gaza in this very difficult time,” he asked.