The Order condemns unequivocally the killing of two innocent Christian women seeking refuge at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family in Gaza City. In addition to these two deaths, seven others were injured in the attack. The parish is only two miles away from Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church, which was also bombed by the Israeli Defense Force back on October 19th, killing around 20 people.
According to reports, the IDF had shoot-to-kill orders for anyone leaving the confines of the parish. The Order views this violent and ruthless action as a senseless tragedy. These actions by the IDF prove that there is no safe place in Gaza. Not even the Christian churches in Gaza are recognized as a place of sanctuary. Our prayers are with the slain and those wounded at the Church of the Holy Family.
This atrocity brings to mind our own concerns for the nearly 500 people still seeking refuge at Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church, which we have not been able to make contact with for over two weeks. The Order is deeply concerned for the safety and health of our Christian brothers and sisters in Gaza who are being starved and ethnically cleansed from the face of the earth.
Please keep in mind that in northern Gaza, where both Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church and the Church of the Holy Family are located, 97% of all households have insufficient access to food and clean drinking water. 9 out of 10 people, including children, infants, and the elderly are starving to near death. More than 70% of the Gaza Strip has been destroyed to rubble. This includes over 300,000 homes, 339 schools, 26 hospitals, and 167 places of worship. The latest death toll is currently today sitting at 19,076 people including nearly 8,000 children.
The Order remains committed to the community of Saint Porphyrios, to Archbishop Alexios of Tiberias, to the Christians of Gaza, to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and to all the Orthodox Christians who live and breathe across the Holy Land and Greater Middle East.
We ask that during this Nativity Season you please continue to think of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, and faithfully contribute financially to their needs through our fundraising campaign. The Order will not stop raising funds for them until their homes, schools, and communities are restored. We will continue to do everything we can until they are all safe.
The deaths of these two Christian martyrs at the Church of the Holy Family and of those Christian Martyrs killed at St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church on the 19th of October will not be in vain but will instead be the means of rekindling our own faith and love as we pray for them, for the Holy Land, and for all who suffer in this war. The Order of Saint George the Great Martyr is committed to raising money in their memory for a better and more peaceful Palestine.
Through the prayers of Saint Porphyrios of Gaza, and Saint George the Great Martyr and Victory Bearer, may Christ have mercy and save His suffering servants!
May Christ our God also give eternal rest to Nahida and her daughter Samar who were murdered in cold blood today at the hands of the IDF. That He in His everlasting mercy will welcome them into the Holy Habitations of Paradise and number them amongst His saints!