We study the persistence and propagation (or blocking) phenomena for a species in periodically hostile environments. The problem is described by a reaction-diffusion equation with zero Dirichlet boundary condition. We first derive the existence of a minimal nonnegative nontrivial stationary solution and study the large-time behavior of the solution of the initial boundary value problem. Then we provide a simple geometric condition for the blocking of propagation and we derive the asymptotic behavior of the approximated pulsating traveling fronts. Moreover, for the case of constant diffusion matrix, we provide two conditions for which the limit of approximated minimal speeds is positive.