Bomb threat to Gaza Bible bookshop prompts call for prayers

A bomb threat to a Bible bookshop in Gaza run by the Palestinian Bible Society has led to a call for prayers.

Last week the co-owner of the building where the shop is located demanded that the Palestinian Bible Society vacate the premises. He claims to have received a threat from a militant Islamic group in Gaza to blow up the building if the shop remains.

He is also taking the Palestinian Bible Society to court in an attempt to have both its ownership of the shop and its legal rights to operate restricted. The Bible Society is contesting this action.

The threats come just a week after an Islamic militant was killed in Gaza City while planting a bomb by the door of a Christian-owned internet café.

Now the leader of the Palestinian Bible Society is urging Christians around the world to pray for the safety of its staff in this increasingly dangerous environment.

"Christians around the world are called on to lift up their Christian family in Gaza before God in prayer so that they remain strong and faithful in the face of persecution," said Labib Madanat, General Secretary of the Palestinian Bible Society.

Last October the manager of the Bible Society bookshop in Gaza, Rami Ayyad, was kidnapped and killed, leaving a wife and young children. Since his murder, the shop has been closed.

In April 2007, the bookshop was one of three targets of bomb attacks in Gaza City.