Date:                              October 17, 2023


10/17/2023 Gaza (International Christian Concern) – While the bombardment of Hamas continues in the Gaza Strip, the small contingent of Christians there is sheltering in two churches. They, like many citizens in Gaza, wonder if they will live through this crisis. 

The past ten days have been filled with horror for southern Israel and for Gaza – hundreds were reportedly killed on Tuesday when a missile struck a hospital in northern Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The war began when Hamas executed the deadliest single terrorist attack in Israel’s 75-year history.

The initial Hamas attack has been retaliated by Israel through nonstop bombardment and a complete blockade on the more than 2 million populated Gaza Strip. Thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, and international negotiations to allow critical humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through Egypt’s Rafah crossing have so far been unsuccessful.  

Gaza’s small Christian community has been sheltering in two churches in Gaza City during this week’s Israeli bombardment. Both churches lie within north Gaza, the area that the Israeli military has ordered civilians to leave in preparation for an expected ground invasion.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has been made aware of the churches and Christians’ presence in the area. IDF leaders have told private sources that they will protect and ensure that the churches do not become targets in the war.  

Gaza’s civilian population must be protected in this latest escalation of the Hamas-Israel war. Gaza’s churches must not become targets of war, and people taking refuge inside the churches must be protected.  

Political challenges and conflict in recent decades have threatened the continued survival of the Gazan church and its estimated 1,000 Christians who face persecution. 

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Since 1995, ICC has served the global persecuted church through a three-pronged approach of assistance, advocacy, and awareness. ICC exists to bandage the wounds of persecuted Christians and to build the church in the toughes