Gaza Emergency Appeal

Please help us to support the Palestinian Christians of Gaza

Our Christmas Emergency Appeal is in aid of the innocent Palestinian Christians of Gaza who are currently taking refuge in the Holy Family Church, in Zeitoun, lovingly cared for there by the parish priest Father Youssef Asaad, two Rosary Sisters of Jerusalem and three Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s Sisters).

The Holy Family Church, Gaza

The parish complex of the Holy Family includes a church, parish hall and facilities, school, kindergarten, three convents, and two homes caring for the disabled children, the sick and the elderly.  Last week, during a bombardment, shrapnel from the Israeli army targeting buildings nearby, destroyed water tanks and solar panels on the roof of the parish complex. Cars and other parts of the complex were also damaged.  The parish has run out of fuel, and so has no electricity, heating or stable communication channels. The parish is fast running out of food, water and medicine, and those taking refuge there cannot exit the complex.

The Christian children of Gaza who have taken refuge in the Church of the Holy Family
Mother protects her frightened and grieving children
Palestinian children, in prayer, at the Church of the Holy Family, where they are lovingly cared for by the Rosary Sisters of Jerusalem

Death of innocent Christians

On December 16,  two Christian women, Nahida and her daughter Samar, were shot by a sniper and killed inside the Holy Family Parish complex as they walked to the Sister’s Convent. One was killed as she tried to carry the other to safety. Seven more people were shot and wounded as they tried to protect others inside the church compound. No warning was given, no notification was provided. They were shot in cold blood inside the premises of the parish, where there are no belligerents.

Earlier in the morning, a rocket fired from an IDF tank targeted the Convent of the Sisters of Mother Teresa (Missionaries of Charity). The Convent is home to over 54 disabled persons and is part of the church compound, which was signaled as a place of worship since the beginning of the war. The building’s generator (the only source of electricity) and the fuel resources were destroyed. The house was damaged by the resulting explosion and massive fire. Two more rockets, fired by an IDF tank, targeted the same Convent and rendered the home uninhabitable. The 54 disabled persons are currently displaced and without access to the respirators that some of them need to survive.

In addition, as a result of the heavy bombing in the area, three people were wounded inside the church compound last night. Furthermore, solar panels and water tanks, which are indispensable for the survival of the community, were destroyed.

Pope Francis responds

Pope Francis condemned the attack on the compound of the Catholic parish, “where there are no terrorists, but families, children, people who are sick and have disabilities, and nuns……….That is why the Scripture affirms that ‘God stops wars… breaks the bow, splinters the spear’ (Psalm 46:10). Let us pray to the Lord for peace.”

Nahida and Samar Anton

Our condolences

Together in prayer with the whole Christian community, all of us at FACE wish to express our deepest  condolences to the families affected by this senseless tragedy. We are at a loss to comprehend how such an attack could be carried out, the more especially in this Christian season of peace and goodwill to all people, when the whole Church prepares for Christmas.

FACE continues to follow this developing situation with great concern and asks for your prayers and your generous support.

Please help us to provide emergency humanitarian aid to Gaza

To make an online donation, please click:

Alternatively, you may donate by texting to:

GAZA to 70560 to donate £20

GAZA to 70560 to donate £20 

Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message.

QR Code to texting

Christian heritage of Palestine

Densely populated, the Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million people who live, cheek by jowl, in an area of 227 square miles. Refugees account for 66% of the population and more than 50% are children under 18. Home to some of the oldest Christian churches in the world, Gaza’s Christian heritage dates back to the first century.  Ever since being evangelised by Philip the Apostle, two thousand years ago, Palestinians have borne witness to Christ and produced several notable saints, including St Porphyrius, Saint Dorotheus and St Silvanus, as well as Bishop Asclepas of Gaza who attended the First Council of Nicaea.  Thus, the Christian heritage of Gaza is ancient and precious.

However, since the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948, the continuing conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, and the failure to create an independent Palestinian state,  combined with the lack of security and economic stability, and the Israeli military occupation and settler violence, has undermined the presence of Christianity in the Holy Land leading to a significant exodus of its indigenous Christian population.  Today, less than a thousand  Christians remain in Gaza, of which 90 % are Greek Orthodox and 9% are Roman Catholic, the rest being of Protestant denominations.  Sadly, Palestinian Christians have not been spared the slaughter of war: on 19 October, part of the Church of Saint Porphyrius, a Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City, was damaged during an Israeli airstrike, killing seventeen Palestinian Christians.

As a result of the current military conflict, Christianity is on the verge of extinction in Gaza.  It is vital that its native Christians are protected and allowed to remain in their homeland if they so desire, so that the Palestinian witness to Christ can survive and flourish for future generations. We know all too well from the history of the past century that once Eastern Christians leave their biblical homelands, they seldom if ever return. So, it must be a focus of the wider Church now that we do all in our power to help the indigenous Christian community to remain in Gaza.  And for certain, their loving presence will be invaluable in the process of reconciliation that will surely have to follow in the years to come.