Photograph: Musa Al-shaer/AFP/Getty Images
A little known fact is the presence of a small but significant Christian Palestinian presence in Gaza. Gerald Butt wrote about them in Life at the Crossroads: History of Gaza. Read a review here.
Carl Moeller of Open Doors has just sent this news and prayer update on their plight.
“As an estimated 10,000 Israeli ground troops invaded Gaza today, the small community of Christians are drawing strength from their faith in God. Last week’s attacks left over 400 dead and 2,000 injured and the numbers are expected to dramatically increase.
According to reliable reports, the Gaza Baptist Church building was still standing this morning but has had some of its windows shattered by the bombings. Some Christian families left Gaza for Bethlehem over the holidays and are now separated from their loved ones with the border sealed. Many of the hospitals, already lacking basic medicines and medical equipment, are overwhelmed with the casualties and often are without power.
This is serious trouble for Christians in Gaza. Even before the recent end to the ceasefire (December 19) and the bombings, the estimated 3,000 Christians in Gaza have been living in fear from threats from Islamic militants.
Please join me in prayer for these brave Christians in Gaza in the wake of this new outbreak of violence. Pray that the war between Israel and Palestine is shorter and less devastating than what military and political speculators around the world are predicting. Pray that Christian families will be reunited. Pray that the Gaza Baptist Church building will be spared from the bombs.
Earlier this year one believer in Gaza stated: “Seventy percent of the Christians want to leave Gaza because they are very afraid. But we love Gaza. It’s our country, we have roots here, our homes are here. We will not know anyone if we go somewhere else.”
Pray that the seeds Brother Andrew sowed with Hamas and other prominent militant groups and the Gazan Christians sowed throughout the years when the Palestinian Bible Society actively shared God’s love with Muslim friends and neighbors will bear fruit. May their offerings of Christ’s love result in peace and God’s glory. Please check our website at http://www.opendoorsusa.org/ for updates.
In Christ our hope,
Dr. Carl A. Moeller
Open Doors USA President/CEO
Read John McArthy’s excellent piece in the Independent If it were your home, what hope restraint?
The Narrow Gate of Justice: Sabeel’s Statement
Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches
Pirates of the Mediterranean: Gaza Update
More photos of Gaza