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Gaza cleric: Islamists force conversion
Christians in Gaza protested the abduction of a young man, saying he is being forced to convert to Islam by an armed group, a Greek Orthodox official says.
The protesters staged a sit-in Monday outside a Gaza church, alleging a Christian man and two girls recently had been kidnapped, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Tuesday.
Archbishop Alexios said Ramiz al-Amash was kidnapped by an Islamist group Saturday after attempts were made to convert him to Islam. The archbishop said al-Amash was also prevented from calling his family.
“The young man’s parents went to the police to lodge a complaint about the kidnapping of their son, but it [police] did nothing,” Archbishop Alexios told the Palestinian news agency.
“There are some groups trying to persuade young Christians to convert to Islam. They abduct them away from their parents and their families. They threaten them,” he said.
The archbishop said al-Amash’s family contacted the kidnappers and the mother was permitted to see her son who was surrounded by gunmen and then taken away, Ma’an said.
Some 3,000 Christians live in the Gaza Strip.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International