Muslims burn a church in Bethlehem
All across the Muslim world Islamic extremist terrorists--and some Muslims not so extreme--are destroying ancient or even more contemporary places of religions or cultures that don't meet their approval, slaughtering thousands of people while dispossessing thousands more, forcing them to leave their ancestral homes. From ancient pagan temples to heritage sites, to Hindu temples, Jewish synagogues or Christian churches and sometimes even mosques of another Muslim sect, all are looted and then smashed and/or burned. Some instances have made the news but for the most part Christians and other minorities who have suffered remain fearfully silent.
Just this last weekend the terrorists set fire to Joseph's Tomb, or as CNN so delicately phrased it, the tomb caught fire. Just like that.
In Bethlehem, yes Bethlehem, whose name in Hebrew, Beit Lekhem , means House of Bread, the town revered by Christians of all backgrounds as the birthplace of Jesus, Christians are also suffering. Once a city with a substantial Christian majority, the Christian population has plummeted to less than 15% as we've mentioned as have others.
For centuries, Bethlehem was a Christian city, with believers comprising around 80% of the population as recently as 50 years ago. Today, however, it is less than 15% Christian, and that number continues to dwindle. Bethlehem is increasingly occupied by Muslims, some of whom exert great pressure on their Christian neighbors.
Since the Oslo Accords, it’s been the unspoken rule that “what happens to Christians in Bethlehem stays in Bethlehem.” (snip)
Now that the silence has been broken, reports abound about confiscated Christian property, honor killings and sexual molestation.
After weeks of quiet word has finally leaked out that just last month Muslims burnt a church and a monastery in Bethlehem.
On September 26, Palestinian terrorists influenced by IS burned down the St. Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem, which is under the control of the Palestinians. Damage was caused to the church and its furniture.
Christian witnesses said that two days before the fire broke out, vandals broke in and stole items from the church. Apparently this was part of a mission to gather information.
Father Gabriel Naddaf, an Arab-Israeli priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, was the first to make the fire public and wrote on his Facebook page:
"We call upon [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the attack and ensure the safety of the Christian Holy Places within their territory. It is exactly this type of attitude by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) that encourages vandalism and terrorism against Christian sites as Palestinians extremists know that they will not be brought to justice or punished for their acts."
"In contrast to the state of Israel, which safeguards the rights of all its citizens, including its Christian and Muslim community, the Palestinian Authority allows corruption and intimidation, especially towards its Christian population. This is why historical places like Bethlehem that had a Christian majority before the Palestinian Authority was given control of these territories, they now have only a small percentage of Christians as they were driven away due to the unfavorable conditions and persecution against them," he continued.
For all the superficial good will Muslims publicly demonstrate to Christians who brave travel to Bethlehem over Christmas or any other time, the distressing reality is there is now one less church there for Christians. The truth is the Muslims want them out. Or forcibly converted. And this burnt church is more proof.