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The churches of Palestine have announced the cancellation of all festive Christmas celebrations in an expression of unity with Gaza and rejection of the ongoing aggression against Palestinians, limiting them to masses and prayers. In Bethlehem, the Lutheran Church decided that its Christmas nativity scene would reflect the reality of children living and being born in Palestine today, placing the symbolic Baby Jesus in a manger of rubble and destruction.

“If Christ were to be born today,” Reverend Munther Isaac said, “he would be born under the rubble and Israeli shelling. Christ was not born among the conquerors or those with military power, but in an occupied country, which is what Palestine was 2,000 years ago. This is a powerful message we send to the world celebrating the holidays.”

Isaac delivered a letter from the churches of Bethlehem, to the US administration in Washington, DC. The letter urged US President Biden, the US Congress and heads of US churches to apply Christ’s message rejecting injustice and called for an end to the genocidal war in Gaza.

“Some people in the West forget the existence of Palestinian Christians. This war affects everything Palestinian, whether Muslim or Christian. It is our responsibility now to raise our voices as a nation to stop this war,” Isaac said.


More than 18,000 people have died in Gaza already due to Israeli bombing and shelling, and more than 70 percent of them were women or children. More than 7,000 children have been killed.

UN officials have said that 1.9 million people, over 85 percent of Gaza's population, are internally displaced.

Organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and a joint statement by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the UN Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, and World Food Programme have warned of a dire humanitarian collapse in Gaza.

Church Leaders Are Calling for a Ceasefire

Pope Francis and the US Catholic Bishops have called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities as well as the release of hostages.

In a November 9, 2023 letter to President Biden, Churches from Middle East Peace (CMEP) and thirty American church-based leaders called on President Biden and his Administration to support an immediate ceasefire, de-escalation, and restraint by all involved.  “We condemn the brutal attacks of Hamas on October 7th … and we call for the immediate release of all civilians held hostage. The horrific violence of Hamas does not justify further violence against Palestinian civilians. We condemn the collective punishment imposed upon the more than 2.2 million Palestinians living in Gaza…  We call on you, President Biden, and your Administration to support an immediate ceasefire, de-escalation, and restraint by all involved.”

In a November 29, 2023, letter to President Biden 68 Bishops and Executive Leaders from churches and denominations from across the world wrote to convey the desperate need for the government of Israel to end the bombing campaign and ground invasion of Gaza immediately. “We write as Christian leaders deeply disappointed with the U.S. government’s response to the current situation in Gaza and Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to date.… Your Administration’s unwillingness to support a lasting ceasefire has directly contributed to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza, many of whom are children…. Millions of lives depend on the U.S., no longer being complicit in an unjust war that has already devastated the lives of thousands of civilians.”

Ina December 12 statement Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemned the escalating violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza that is having devastating effects on civilians. The letter stated: “The Biden Administration’s reluctance to support a comprehensive ceasefire and its consistent practice of publicly articulating empty rhetoric about the protection of civilians is abhorrent as Israel continues its destructive bombardment on the Gaza Strip.” CMEP called on the United States “to reverse course immediately and use its immense power and leverage to pressure Israel to end the violence. Only a ceasefire will stop the loss of civilian life in Gaza…”


Call or email your elected officials and urge them to support an immediate, sustained ceasefire. 

Rep. Paul Tonko                202-225-5076          

Rep. Elise Stefanik           202-225-4611           

Sen. Chuck Schumer       202-224-6542          

Sen Kirstin Gillibrand     202-224-4451           

The White House             202-456-1111           

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