Tag Archives: Gaza

A Prayer for Gaza

O God our prayer today is more like an inarticulate cry and our hearts ache. We saw a man in Gaza weeping beside his three little dead children – innocent beauty now bloodied in death

A massacre that started on the eve of Holy Innocents Day claims more and more women and children’s lives.

UN schools bombed, where families had sought refuge.

The people of Gaza with nowhere to run.

They are imprisoned under a harsh siege, bombed by the most sophisticated new weapons and then attacked in their own streets and houses.

O God where can they find refuge. No one has listened to their suffering for over 60 years.

O God of the oppressed and suffering we see you in the wounded of Gaza – we hear your cries of pain – we share your tears. May we never be silent in the face of such pain.

O God may world leaders at last hear the cries of the children and the suffering of Gaza.

May the siege be removed. The gates be opened. May they be allowed to have food, water, medicine, human rights, dignity, justice, democracy.

O God hear the cry of Gaza.

May freedom come – may healing come – may hope come.

May they be treated as we would like to be treated.

And we pray for the people of Israel because there will be no peace for them until the occupation ends and the siege is over – no peace for them until justice comes to Palestine.

And we pray that peace will come soon and that each person will recognise the value of the other and Israel and Palestine become a Holy Land once more.

Amen.

Garth Hewitt
Director, Amos Trust
Canon, Jerusalem Cathedral

January 2009, www.amostrust.org

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Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem on the current devastating situation in Gaza


Photograph: Adel Hana/AP

We, the Patriarchs, Bishops and the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem, follow with deep concern, regret, and shock the war currently raging in the Gaza Strip and the subsequent destruction, murder and bloodshed, especially at a time when we celebrate Christmas, the birth of the King of love and peace. As we express our deep sorrow at the renewed cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and the continued absence of peace in our Holy Land, we denounce the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip and all forms of violence and killings from all parties. We believe that the continuation of this bloodshed and violence will not lead to peace and justice but breed more hatred and hostility – and thus continued confrontation between the two peoples.

Accordingly, we call upon all officials of both parties to the conflict to return to their senses and refrain from all violent acts, which only bring destruction and tragedy, and urge them instead to work to resolve their differences through peaceful and non-violent means.

We also call upon the international community to fulfill its responsibilities and intervene immediately and actively stop the bloodshed and end all forms of confrontation; to work hard and strong to put an end to the current confrontation and remove the causes of conflict between the two peoples; and to finally resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just and comprehensive solution based on international resolutions.

To the various Palestinian factions we say: It is time to end your division and settle your differences. We call on all factions at this particular time to put the interests of the Palestinian people above personal and factional interests and to move immediately toward national comprehensive reconciliation and use all non-violent means to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region.

Finally, we raise our prayers to the Child in the manger to inspire the authorities and decision makers on both sides, the Israelis and Palestinians, for immediate action to end the current tragic situation in the Gaza Strip. We pray for the victims, the wounded and the broken-hearted. May the Lord God Almighty grant all those who have lost loved ones consolation and patience. We pray for all those living in panic and fear, that God may bless them with calm, tranquility and true peace.

We call on all to observe next Sunday, January 4, as a day for justice and peace in the land of peace.

+ Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+ Patriarch Fuad Twal, Latin Patriarchate.
+ Patriarch Torkom II, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate.
Fr. Pier Battista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custody of the Holy Land
+ Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate.
+ Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate.
+ Abune Matthias, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+ Archbishop Paul Nabil Sayyah, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate.
+ Bishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem & the Middle East.
+ Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy Land.
+ Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+ Bishop Youssef Zre’i, Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate.
Fr. Raphael Minassian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

Read John McArthy If it were your home, what hope restraint? and Ilan Pappe Israel’s Righteous Fury and its Victims in Gaza

The Narrow Gate of Justice: Sabeel Statement
Pirates of the Mediterranean: Gaza Update
Photos of Gaza

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The Christians of Gaza

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,
Carl Moeller

Dr. Carl A. Moeller
Open Doors USA President/CEO

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Read John McArthy’s excellent piece in the Independent If it were your home, what hope restraint?

Also:

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

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