Gaza Christians protest 'forcible conversions'

Published July 17, 2012

| Associated Press

Dozens of Christians in predominantly Muslim Gaza have staged a rare protest, claiming two members of their community were forcibly converted to Islam and are being held against their will.

Gaza police say the two are staying with a Muslim religious official at their request, because they fear retribution from their families for converting.

Christians are a minority of about 1,500 people in Gaza, a territory with 1.7 million Muslim residents. Since the Islamic militant Hamas seized power five years ago, Christians have felt increasingly embattled but have largely kept silent.

Monday's protest was a rare exception. Gaza's Archbishop Alexious said the converts -- a 25-year-old man and a woman with three children -- should be returned to their families.

Forcible conversions have been unheard of in Gaza before.

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http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/17/gaza-christians-protest-forcible-conversions/