Palestinian Christians say army surrounds Gaza church

By November 15, 2023

Gaza Strip (MNN) — A senior member of Israel’s government calls on Gaza Arabs to “voluntarily emigrate” as war rages in Gaza City.

Over two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have fled their homes since the war began in early October. Hundreds of Palestinian Christians remain in place, however, and they’re in trouble.

“A couple of hours ago, I got a message from the Christian community begging us to pray because the army [is] surrounding the church, and all of the Christians have gone to the church building,” Nashat Filmon with the Palestinian Bible Society says.

“They don’t know [if] they’re going to make it or not through this war.”

The United Nations says 200,000 Palestinians fled to southern Gaza in the last ten days, including some Palestinian Christians. Two church compounds in Gaza City shelter the remaining believers.

Elham Farah, shot and killed on November 12, was one of Filmon’s long-time friends.
(Photo courtesy of Nashat Filmon/Palestinian Bible Society)

“Christians are between a rock and a hard place. Some Christians tried to follow [the] instruction given to them and go south, but there [was] no place for them to go; they don’t have relatives” to take them in, Filmon explains.

“There is no identified specific place [in southern Gaza.] Therefore, they took refuge in the house of the Lord.”

On Sunday, “Sadly, somebody I knew for a long time, the piano player at the Baptist church, was walking from the church compound to her home when she got shot,” Filmon says.

“[In] the last phone conversation, she was saying ‘I cannot feel my legs,’ and she was there bleeding till she died. Nobody was able to reach where she was to help her.”

Ask the Lord to protect Christ-followers in the Gaza Strip. Nine Palestinian Bible Society team members support believers in Gaza with essential items like food, water, and medicine.

“Most people in North America do not know that Christians have been living there (in Gaza) for ages,” Filmon says.

“This is maybe a wake-up call, or if you wish, a kind reminder that we exist. We are here in the Gaza Strip, and we need your prayers.”



Header image is a 2021 photo depicting Palestinian Christians in a Gaza church. (Wikimedia Commons)

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