WASHINGTON â€“ When Saeed and Nasser Salame, Arab brothers and residents of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, converted from Islam to Christianity, they didn't know it would cost them their homes, their friends â€“ possibly even their lives.
Nasser Salam was an active member of Fatah, Arafat's own party, when he converted. For this "crime" of conscience, he was imprisoned and tortured, according to a French Christian group and the Religious Freedom Council.
The brothers decided their only hope was to escape to Israel â€“ and then, perhaps, to France or some other Western nation where they could practice their new faith freely.
With one of them facing a death sentence, they escaped from a Palestinian Authority jail and made it to Israel.