Date: November 10, 2023
Palestine (MNN) — Israel has agreed to daily four-hour pauses in the fighting with Hamas in Gaza City to let civilians out.
There are tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing the city. Rev. Dr. Jack Sara, President of Bethlehem Bible College says this includes Christians.
“The Christian community in Gaza has been in refuge now for over a month hiding in churches. Many of them really are in shortage for a lot of things. You’re talking about kids, women, men, elderly people, sick people.”
An Israeli airstrike on October 20 damaged part of the compound of the Church of St. Porphyrius in Gaza City. At least 400 Palestinians, mostly Christians, were taking shelter in the church and 18 were killed.
The Palestinian Christian community is in mourning and cut off even from offering tangible support between the West Bank and Gaza.
Dr. Sara says, “We are incapable of sending in anything because of the total blockade. So right now, we’re hoping that something will happen so that we can send them as much as we can, whether it is funding, food, or medicine — not just in particular for the Christians, but as we want to help the other communities who are suffering and struggling in the community of Gaza.”
Ultimately, Dr. Sara says Palestinian Christians in Gaza and the West Bank feel like the forgotten Church.
“Part of the problem that they’re seeing is even the Christians are siding against them, in a way, whether they intend it or not. But this what the news is carrying…. So we feel hurt and frustrated.
“It seems that there are many of them — I don’t want to generalize — but it feels like a lot of Christians, including theologians, pastors, and leaders are on the side of war rather than the side of peace.” Dr. Sara shakes his head, choking up. “This is shocking to us. This is hurtful here.”
All Palestinians need the Gospel as much as any other people in the world, and nobody is beyond the saving love of God! The Palestinian Church is the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in unimaginable tragedy, but they need the support of the global Body of Christ.
“I cannot fathom how Christians could lose sight of grace which could touch any person, even those who could be deemed terrorists by us,” says Dr. Sara. “[The Apostle] Paul was a terrorist in our own kind of definition!
“I think God’s grace is able to reach out to anyone. Jesus is able to reveal Himself to anyone in such a drastic and harsh moment. There is no one beyond grace.”
Please remember and pray for the Palestinian Church. You can send Bethlehem Bible College a message here and let them know Palestinian Christians are not forgotten!
“We need the prayers of the saints from all over the globe to pray for the Church here to keep our sanity, to keep our prophetic voice in such a context like this,” says Dr. Sara.
Pray also for Palestinian Muslims and Hamas terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza to know the total transforming power of Jesus’s love, mercy, and grace.
Header photo courtesy of Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona/Unsplash.