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Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem holds Memorial Service for the Gaza War Victims

22 October 2023

On Sunday morning, 22 October 2023, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, held a prayer and memorial service for the souls of the Gaza war victims, and the victims of the Israeli air strike that hit the St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church compound on Thursday, killing at least 18 people who had been seeking shelter in the church, which dates back to the 5th century, and is of at least 1616 years old.

“We appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hatred for their neighbours, especially those now at war or preparing for war,” the Patriarch said.

At least 450 people had been sheltering at the church complex in Gaza city when it was hit by an Israeli air strike.

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a strongly worded statement on the attack.

“The survivors of this horrific bombing are resilient and filled with the spirit of Christ,” the Patriarchate said. “Together with them we continue to display faith through the aftermath of this horrific ordeal. We have come together as a community to support one another, praying for healing and strength in the face of adversity.”