Gaza’s Christians call for end to violence

Gaza’s Christians call for end to violence

As violence continues in Gaza, the region’s Christians have appealed for prayer and a cessation to violence, as the United Nations has ramped up a fundraising appeal for people affected.

Around 800 Palestinian Christians from different denominations live in Gaza, home to the world’s third oldest church. Due to the current war and the bombings by the Israeli air force, churches in Gaza cancelled all their services last week.

According to Christian organisation Open Doors, one of their partners in the region described the experience in Gaza as one of fear and anxiety.

“My family and I feel fear and anxiety due to the heavy bombardments… we feel that the house will fall,” he said in a statement.

“It is a permanent earthquake. We try to hug our children and relieve them of fear and terror, and many times we cannot [comfort them] from the force of the strikes.” 

“Currently, we live in a difficult situation in Gaza that is incomprehensible, as we do not know what is coming… all we see, hear, and feel is war… explosions and destruction everywhere and the screaming of children from the intensity of the bombing. There is a strong fear of what is coming as there is no safe place in Gaza,” he said.

“For a moment, it seemed as if the gates of heaven were closed in the face of this miserable and poor city… in Gaza, everything seems gloomy.”

“We pray that love and peace will prevail in our country, and I ask for a prayer for God’s protection over my family and our home, that the war will end quickly, and that the Lord will meet all needs, especially at this time, and that we are can be the light in the middle of this total darkness and reflect the light and love of Christ in Gaza.”

Christians in the West Bank continued to hold their church services, offering prayers for peace and justice in the Holy Land. Al Jazeera reports that, “the churches of Gaza are among the very few places left where Palestinians can seek refuge.”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has called for an immediate cessation of violence in Gaza.

Rev. Dr Jerry Pillay is the WCC’s General Secretary.

“The World Council of Churches appeals urgently for an immediate cessation of this deadly violence, for Hamas to cease their attacks and ask both parties for de-escalation of the situation.”

“We are deeply concerned about the imminent risks of spiralling conflict between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, and of the inevitably tragic consequences for the people of the region – Israelis and Palestinians alike – following a period of escalating tensions and violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

“The current attacks threaten only more violence; they cannot provide a path to peace or to justice.”

“We urge all WCC member churches to join today in praying for just peace in the land of Christ’s birth, and in solidarity with all the people affected and threatened by violence.” 

Gaza is a small strip of land approximately 41 kilometres long and six to 12 kilometres wide, is home to a population of about two million people. The area has been under the control of Hamas since 2006, and the Israeli government has imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on the area, rendering it an ‘open-air prison.’

Only individuals with permits from the Israeli government are allowed to travel out of Gaza.

Along with the West Bank, Gaza constitutes the State of Palestine.

The United Nations’ Relief Agency is providing aid to people affected by bombings in Gaza. To donate, visit the appeal website here.  


2 thoughts on “Gaza’s Christians call for end to violence”

  1. Um where is your condemnation of Israeli genocide. Read the paper today, oh not an Australian one though. Try the guardian.

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