We share with you the following worlds from Fr Paul Abernathy, of the FOSNA Board of Trustees:
We Orthodox Christians have for days heard of and seen the courageous witness of St Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Gaza. We have seen this community in prayer as they offer comfort, shelter, and refuge to Palestinians who are suffering from indiscriminate Israeli military aggression as well as from the humanitarian crisis resulting from Israel's siege and policy of mass punishment. Today, we are now in great anguish upon hearing the initial reports that an Orthodox building belonging to this community was struck by an Israeli missile, with victims under the rubble. We have learned today that this is the price of a selfless, extraordinary, and beautiful Christian witness in the context of the continued Israeli slaughter of the Palestinian people. Days ago our beloved Patriarch John X of Antioch offered the following statement:
"In these circumstances, what can one say, when we see bloodshed here and there surrounding us? What is happening in Gaza first, this painful catastrophe, and what we are witnessing, is ultimately the cause of this displaced and expatriated Palestinian people. For many years now, they have been suffering from racial discrimination policies. I hope this catastrophic incident will awaken the conscience of the world officials, the concerned authorities, and the UN organization, to intervene quickly and stop what is happening. Perhaps the world would realize that a solution must be found for this cause, the cause of the Palestinian people."
Today as Christians, we fall down before the Lord in prayer, with the sorrow of this moment deep in our hearts. We renew our commitment to peace as we acknowledge that it is now time for a just solution for the Palestinian people. We are prepared for the hard work, not only in pursuit of justice, but also of reconciliation in the aftermath of this horror.
We ask our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us peace and have mercy on us all.
With hope in the Risen Lord,
Fr Paul Abernathy,
Saint Moses the Black Orthodox Church (Antiochene)
Board of Trustees of Friends of Sabeel North America