Press Release – February 8, 2024
For Immediate Release
URGENT: Humanitarian Appeal for Christians in Gaza
“Seek peace and pursue it”
It has been four months since Hamas launched its deadly terrorist attack on Israel. The subsequent escalation of conflict has led to the loss of thousands of lives, with almost all of Gaza’s population reportedly displaced.
The unfolding humanitarian crisis we are witnessing in Gaza is almost beyond comprehension. At OPAC, we have continued to pray for peace and call for the unconditional release of all hostages and an immediate cessation of hostilities. Now, we also have the opportunity to respond by providing urgently needed relief through our partnership with the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrius in Gaza City.
OPAC is partnering with Mosaic Middle East a British charity to provide immediate aid to Palestinian Christians and other civilians affected by hostilities in Gaza. We will be coordinating our efforts through the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the office of His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos III.
Many of Gaza’s Christians have been displaced by the escalating violence, and more than 400 families either are sheltering in or seeking emergency aid each day at St. Porphyrius. On 19th October last year, the church – one of the oldest in the world – suffered damage in an airstrike that killed a number of people taking refuge there.
“The need for humanitarian assistance is nearly overwhelming, especially among the Christian community in Gaza. St. Porphyrius’s doors are open to all who seek asylum and safety. Donations made through either OPAC or Mosaic Middle East will make a critical difference in the lives of innocent families affected by the current crisis.”
Scott Rye, Mosaic Middle East Chairman
“The besieged Christian community in Gaza is facing unimaginable hardships. The recent bombing of St. Porphyrius Church serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to stand in solidarity with our fellow Christians in their time of distress. The tiny Christian community in Gaza has been an integral part of the region’s cultural fabric for centuries. It is imperative that we come together as a global community to support and protect these vulnerable individuals fleeing violence and seeking refuge.”
George Gigicos, OPAC Co-founder and Chairman
Every penny raised will go to assist Palestinian Christians in Gaza, including parishioners at both the Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrius and the Catholic Church at Holy Family Parish, as well as anyone seeking shelter at the churches.
St. Porphyrius is providing breakfast and lunch every day. They are also providing water for both drinking and washing, and buying petrol for generators to provide electricity.
Help is urgently needed so that this relief effort can continue. Please consider donating to our Christians in Gaza Appeal and make a critical difference in the lives of innocent families affected by the current crisis.
His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, stated, “We express our sincerest thanks to Mosaic Middle East and the Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) for their joint efforts in providing immediate relief to hundreds of residents of Gaza, including, of course, our Christian community, and the recently attacked Catholic Holy Family Parish, who are suffering severely as a result of the current hostilities there.” His Beatitude continued, “Our ancient monastery of Saint Porphyrius, recently damaged in a bombing, continues to provide shelter and relief to the community at large, and our Patriarchate is thankful for the support that enables these efforts to persist. We ask you to join our prayers for an end to the violence, and for peace to prevail, as our Lord asked of us, “Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:14).”
The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) provides public advocacy for the global Orthodox Christian Church, and promotes, supports, defends and champions Christian communities worldwide in the face of persecution, exclusion, and prejudice. For more information, please visit Orthodox Public Affairs Committee.
Mosaic Middle East works to bring hope, help and healing to the Middle East. The charity provides vital emergency relief but also helps people to help themselves through sustainable development and centers of empowerment. For more information, please visit Mosaic Middle East.
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Media Contact: Info@OrthodoxPac.org