Palestinian Christians to the World: Christmas in Cancelled
We are in the Christmas season when bells are ringing and Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
But not in Palestine, the birthplace of Jesus.
As of this writing, the Israeli onslaught against Gaza has killed upwards of 20,000 including 8,000 children. At least 300, including 72 children, have been killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank since October 7.
Palestinian Christians are united in their condemnation of Israeli atrocities. In Bethlehem, the town of Jesus’ birth, a scene representing “Christ in the Rubble” lies inside the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Pastor Munther Isaac explains, “It is impossible to celebrate when there is a massacre, a genocide, taking place in Gaza to our people. The idea was to send a message to the world that this is what Christmas looks in Palestine… Children being pulled from under the rubble, their homes destroyed while the world is celebrating.”
In October, Palestinian Christian leaders from across Palestine addressed an open letter to Christian church leaders and theologians in the West. They charge that many Western Christian leaders fail to mourn the deaths of Palestinian civilians and refuse to acknowledge the root causes of this war, the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine. “We remind ourselves and fellow Christians that God is the God of the downtrodden and the oppressed, and that Jesus rebuked the powerful and lifted up the marginalized.” Pastor Munther put it this way, “This Christmas our only source of hope is our faith in a just God and in our solidarity with one another.”
For those who celebrate and those who don’t, the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee asks you consider gifting a donation on behalf of Gaza’s children to your friends and loved ones in anticipation of the holidays and the new year. We recommend Middle East Children’s Alliance, a Palestinian-run charity based in California with people on the ground in Gaza delivering what they can to those in such dire need.