“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

“Aid to the Church in Need” supporting Christians in the Holy Land

The pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has committed an aid package of $262,200 to support the Christians of the Holy Land amid the current crisis. This aid will support impoverished Christians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, as well as Christian migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel.

Gaza Strip

Gaza, November 8, 2023: The Rosary Sisters School after a bombing.

There are around 1,000 Christians in the Gaza Strip, most of whom are sheltering from the fighting in the Holy Family Catholic parish and the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius. Hundreds of families have been crowded into the church compounds, with reports of dire shortages of food, medicine, and water.

ACN is supporting an initiative of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (LPJ) to secure a constant supply of basic necessities, including hygiene kits, medicine, food and fuel, to the isolated Christian communities in the Gaza Strip.

West Bank and East Jerusalem

Although the conflict is centered in the Gaza Strip, it has also badly impacted Christians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The West Bank is home to roughly 37,000 Palestinian Christians, and a further 10,000 Christians live in East Jerusalem.

Christians in the region are heavily reliant on the tourism sector for employment. With most pilgrim and tourist traffic having ceased, many local Christians have lost their main source of income, while others are unable to travel to work due to the closing of checkpoints and other restrictions.

ACN is working with the LPJ to provide emergency assistance to the Christian communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This assistance is mainly comprised of medical support, food coupons, and subsistence aid for rent and essential bills, such as water and electricity.

Israel

In September 2018, the LPJ established the Vicariate for Migrants and Asylum Seekers (VMAS) to care for the 100,000 Catholic migrants and asylum seekers living in Israel. These migrants have a variety of legal statuses, and many are employed in low-cost labor jobs.

Hundreds of migrant Christians working in the areas surrounding the Gaza Strip were forced to flee and seek refuge in temporary shelters in East Jerusalem, mainly in convents, Christian guesthouses, and other Church facilities. Others have taken shelter in churches in different parts of Israel, such as Tel Aviv.

ACN is assisting the VMAS in providing accommodation, health care, and other essential services to displaced Christian migrants living in Israel.

“Thank you for your donation and solidarity with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Please continue to pray for our small Christian community as they give unwavering witness to the faith and hope.” Cardinal Pizzaballa, to Aid to the Church in Need.

Latin Patriarch thanks ACN

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, expressed his gratitude to ACN for its ongoing collaboration with the LPJ and for the support given to the Christians in the Holy Land during this time of crisis: “Thank you for your donation and solidarity with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Please continue to pray for our small Christian community as they give unwavering witness to the faith and hope.”

By:abouna
 
 
2023-12-06T07:17:29+00:00 December 6th, 2023|Categories: News|