In the past six years the number of Christians in the Gaza Strip has plummeted from 4,500 to just 1,000

n the past six years the number of Christians in the Gaza Strip has plummeted from 4,500 to just 1,000, due to the harsh conditions under which they are living, according to the pastor of the territory’s sole Catholic church.

Gazans “live like it’s an open air prison since we can’t leave. We can’t visit relatives, look for work, medicine or good hospitals on the outside,” Fr. Mario da Silva told ACI Prensa.

There is not a very great persecution of Christians,” the priest said. “Though there is now a lot of fear with the news that the Islamic State has arrived, coming from the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt … There have already been threats. There is also fear of the Salafist groups who are coming in from the south,” he said.