“Allah Akbar” Interrupts Pope’s Mass in Bethlehem
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 25, 2014 @ 12:25 pm In The Point | 22 Comments
Christians used to be a majority in Bethlehem. The peace process and its PLO power drove out the Christian population, as Islamic supremacism has across the Middle East.
From 90 percent Christian in the early 1900s, Bethlehem, a city of 22,000, today is more than two-thirds Muslim.
Bethlehem was 60 percent Christian in 1990, but Christians lost their majority in the 90s. By 2000, Christians accounted for only 40 percent of Bethlehem’s population. By recent counts, Bethlehem today is only 15 percent Christian and 1,000 Christians leave every year.
Bethlehem Christians became persecution targets for Muslims once the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat assumed power in the city. Since then, Christians have been exposed to intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches, denial of employment, torture, kidnappings, forced marriages, and extortions.
Some of the harassment is petty. Some isn’t.
George Rabie, a 22-year-old taxi driver from the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Jala, is proud of his Christianity, even though it puts him in daily danger.
Two months ago, he was beaten up by a gang of Muslims who were visiting Bethlehem from nearby Hebron and who had spotted the crucifix hanging on his windscreen.
“In the birthplace of Christianity, we have seen over the years that the Christmas holiday has been reduced to snowmen and bells,” said Pastor Steven Khoury of Holy Land Missions.
The billboard sign is located at Manger Square with the slogan “Jesus born to die and rose again. Invite him into your heart so you might live – Merry Christmas” has caused some people to come out of their cars and take pictures.
Vandals had cut the electric cable surrounding the sign to ensure that it would not be lit up during the night.
So what happened during the Pope’s visit should surprise no one. This is just like for Christians in Bethlehem.
The Muslim call to prayer from the Mosque of Omar on Manger Square in Bethlehem interrupted Pope Francis’ mass outside the Church of the Nativity.
According to Israel Radio reporter Gal Berger, the Christian crowd responded to the muezzin’s call with whistles and shouts, and the choral music was turned up in order to drown it out. Army Radio reports the calls of “Allah is Great” in Arabic were met with cheers of “Viva Il Papa” by the Christians.
Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com
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