Palestinians Remember Murdered Christian Bookstore Leader

By BosNewsLife Middle East Service

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Rami Ayyad, 32, was discovered stabbed and shot to death in a street of Gaza City.


JERUSALEM/GAZA CITY (BosNewsLife)-- Palestinian Christians on Tuesday, October 7, urged prayers as they observed the second anniversary of the day that militants murdered the director of the only known Christian bookstore in the Gaza Strip.

Rami Ayyad, 32, was discovered stabbed and shot to death in a street of Gaza City, the territory's main city, on October 7, 2007. The killing death came six months after his Teacher's Bookshop of the Palestinian Bible Society was blown up by militants.

"Palestinian Christians have asked for our prayers for his widow, Pauline, and their three children, George, 4, Sam who is nearly 3 and Sama, who is 20 months old," said Middle East Concern (MEC), a group representing Christians in troubled regions.

MEC told BosNewsLife that the family have moved to the West Bank, "where Pauline is working with the Ministry of Culture." The group said, "The children are coping well, but continue to face some challenges. For example, George's behaviour when playing with other children demonstrates that he is struggling to adjust to the loss of his father."

It said the family "remains in need of support."

PRAYERS URGED

In a statement to BosNewsLife MEC said Palestinian Christians supporting the family urged fellow believers around the world to pray that "Pauline, George, Sam and Sama will know the daily strength, peace, presence and provision of Jesus."

In addition, the Christians said the family needs spiritual support "to adjust to their new life in the West Bank” and to remain safe. Those helping them and local Bible Society leaders need "wisdom in all aspects of their ministry in the Palestinian Areas," MEC added.

Of some 1.7 million people in the Gaza Strip, few Christians are left, with church estimates ranging from "hundreds" to up to 3,000, a far cry from previous numbers.

Since the Hamas group took control over the area, Christians have complained of harsher treatment and stricter enforcement of Islamic law.

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