Gaza, Oct. 8, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A prominent Palestinian Christian was kidnapped and killed by Islamic militants in Gaza this weekend.
Rami Ayyad, the director of the only Christian bookstore in Gaza, was abducted as he closed his shop on Saturday evening, October 6. His body was discovered the next day, riddled with bullet and knife wounds.
An active member of the Palestinian Bible Society, Ayyad had been threatened in the past by Islamic groups who charged that he was using his bookstore to attract Muslims, hoping to convert them to Christianity.
In April the bookstore was the target of an arson attack. Just before his abduction, Ayyad had reported that he was being followed by a car that had no license plates.
The Protestant layman, who left a pregnant wife and two small children, was buried on Sunday, after a funeral conducted with protection by Palestinian police.
Approximately 3,300 Christians live in Gaza, forming a tiny minority amidst a population of 1.5 million.