Palestinian Christians in Gaza Celebrate Palm Sunday Amidst Genocide

Churches in Palestine following the Eastern calendar celebrated Palm Sunday (the seventh Sunday of Lent and the last before Easter), known as the Week of Sorrows, commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. However, festivities were subdued, as per the decision of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, limiting celebrations to religious rites and prayers only. This decision stemmed from the Israeli genocide unfolding in Gaza, which claimed the lives of more than 34,000 Palestinians and the wounding of over 78,000, including Palestinian Christians.

Yet, in besieged Gaza, Palestinian Christians refused to let the day pass unnoticed, despite enduring pain and devastation for over 205 days. Adorned with Palm finds, Church of St. Porphyrius stood as a symbol of hope, recalling Christ’s entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem. Worshippers gathered in a modest procession within the confines of the Church, offering their prayers and pleas for an end to the relentless war. Their moving message of resilience and determination echoed beyond the besieged Gaza. Meanwhile, Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank found themselves deprived of practicing their religious traditions, due to Israeli policies and constraint that them from reaching Jerusalem to celebrate Palm Sunday.

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