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Ordeal Of 500 Christians In Gaza Church

by | Wed, Mar 13 2024

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Just one priest and seven nuns are looking after more than 500 trapped Christians sheltering from the war in Gaza in the Palestinian territory’s only Catholic church. The charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reports the area around Holy Family Parish Church has endured intense military clashes and shelling in recent weeks.

Those taking refuge include 120 children and 80 people over the age of 65. Many have been there almost since the start of hostilities 160 days ago. They have daily Mass, pray the Rosary together and receive religious education. A source inside the church told ACN  that: “With God’s grace the children are even closer to their faith than ever before.”

The parish organises activities for children and meetings for trauma healing through prayer. That’s offered by staff from the St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Centre who moved to the church compound after its own building was bombed.

The charity said all the residents are exhausted and requested prayers for peace. The church insider explained: “No one can really experience what they are going through. It is a very special Easter. We are closer than ever to the crucified Saviour.” Sister Nabila Saleh of the Rosary Sisters who are helping run the church pleaded: “Pray for us, pray for the whole population, that this war might end.”

Last month ACN reported that, out of about 1,000 Christians remaining in Gaza, 30 have lost their lives because of the conflict – 19 have been killed by military action and 11 have died due to a lack of medical care.