Gaza's Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas
(7 Jan 2017) About one hundred Palestinian worshippers from the Christian Greek Orthodox community in the Gaza Strip gathered to celebrate Christmas on Saturday.
Archbishop Alexios led the Christmas service at Saint Porphyrios Church in Gaza City.
Before Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, the Christian population in the coastal enclave was over 3-thousand.
Today, just 1,200 Christians remain, most of them Orthodox.
Christian leaders blame the shattered economy, conflict with Israel and the blockade for encouraging Christians to move out.
But community members have also complained that they do not feel comfortable under Hamas rule.
Christians and their property have occasionally come under attack since Hamas seized power, but it's not clear if they were targeted by the Islamic militant group or members of more extreme factions.
Hamas denies it mistreats Christians.
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