Faithful few: can Gaza’s Christian community survive?

Gaza is home to a mere 1,100 Christians, who must obtain permits just to visit Jerusalem. We ask them how they see their future

As Hatem al-Far waited with dwindling hope for an Israeli permit that would allow him out of Gaza this Christmas, he showed a picture on his phone of his first grandson, eight-month-old Ibrahim, and wondered when, if ever, he would see him in the flesh.

This year Far, 53, has a double reason for wanting permission to leave Gaza: he wants to attend the Greek Orthodox midnight mass in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity with his family and attend Ibrahim’s christening, which has been postponed in the hope that his grandfather will make it to the West Bank. “I’m not asking for much,” he said. “I’m living in one Palestinian city, and all I want is to travel to another Palestinian city for a few days.”

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