The situation facing the 1,000 or so Palestinian Christians in Gaza City is very dangerous and very complicated.
But by the grace of God, we are seeing signs of hope.
ALL ARAB NEWS can now report that in the last few days, at least 25 Christians were able to leave the churches in Gaza City, get safely to the South, and were allowed to enter Egypt via the Rafah Crossing.
We understand that they are not staying in Egypt, or staying long.
Rather, they received visas from various countries around the world and all – or nearly all – have departed for those countries already.
Meanwhile, other Palestinian Christians who have also gotten their visa requests approved are now making their way southward towards the Rafah Crossing and, Lord willing, will be able to exit the Gaza Strip in the coming days.
These are big and wonderful answers to the urgent prayers of Palestinian, Israeli, American, and other Christians around the world.
More big answers to prayer:
- Israel and Hamas have agreed to a four-day pause in fighting in the Gaza Strip – that is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. local time on Thursday
- Hamas has agreed to release 50 Israeli women and children held hostage for the past 47 days
- The deal brokered by the Biden administration and Qatar will also facilitate the arrival in the Gaza Strip of some 300 trucks filled with food, fuel and medical supplies
Given the intensity of the fighting, these are dramatic developments and we should get down on our knees and thank the Lord.
I believe the increase in global prayer over the past week or so has made a huge difference.
That said, two urgent needs remain.
First, let’s pray that in this four-day window every single Palestinian Christian suffering in Gaza can find the help that they desperately need to get to safety, be that in the West Bank, or in Egypt, or in other countries.
Second, in the meantime, let’s be praying that Christian NGOs can find a way to urgently get food, clean water and medical supplies to the Palestinian Christians that remain in Gaza.
Criticisms continue to be launched against me for writing about such matters, particularly by some Palestinian Christians in the West Bank and in the U.S.
I don’t want to judge their motives, but I must say several things.
- These critics are wrong to downplay the dangers facing Christians in Gaza – yes, such Christians are scared of being accidentally bombed or shot by the IDF, but many are terrified of being forced by the IDF to move South and unable to leave Gaza, and thus vulnerable to rape or murder or both by Hamas fanatics.
- If these 1,000 Christians felt safe in the South, they would be there already – instead, they have sheltered in two churches and several private homes in and around Gaza City because they are fearful of a Hamas genocide in the South, and certain that even though they are politically opposed to Israel, they know the IDF will protect them, not attack them.
- It is foolish for these critics to say that Hamas poses no danger to Christians in Gaza – do they not remember how the Bible Society’s bookstore in Gaza City was bombed in the spring of 2007? Do they not remember that Rami Ayyad, the Evangelical Christian manager of that bookstore, was assassinated by Hamas in the fall of 2007? Do they not remember that the number of Christians living in Gaza has plunged from more than 3,000 in 2007 to only about 1,000 today, precisely because they fear for their lives, their liberties, and their children’s economic and educational futures?
- It is astonishing and reckless for these critics to adamantly refuse to help secure permission for their brothers and sisters to be moved safely to the West Bank – after all, not every Palestinian Christian in Gaza will be able to get a visa to travel to a foreign country for safety, so if and when the war rages on, where should these Christians go for refuge?
It’s sad to see a handful of people hurling accusations at me for doing everything I can to help our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I am horrified by this war.
I am horrified by the danger that Hamas has put all Gazans in.
At the same time, I’m horrified by the danger that Hamas has put the Christians in.
One might think that all true and faithful followers of Jesus Christ would welcome the help of an Israeli Evangelical to mobilize global prayer for the Christians of Gaza, try to get them moved to safety, and try to get more humanitarian relief to them in a time of maximum danger.
Apparently, one would be wrong.
NOTE: For more information about the Christians in Gaza, you may find these articles helpful: