Christmas is cancelled in Bethlehem. That is the declaration made by heads of the Christian churches in Palestine. Home to Christians since the first century, it’s the oldest Christian community in the world. Due to the violence and the genocide reigning down upon the people of Gaza, Christmas is cancelled.

There will be no public displays of celebration. Instead, Christians mourn their dead, as do their Muslim neighbors, as Israel’s indiscriminate slaughter of civilians continues. 

The most recent assassination was a Christian mother and daughter seeking refuge in a convent of nuns. Holy Family Parish had become a shelter for the disabled and infirmed. There, an Israeli Defense Soldier gunned them down. Pope Francis has decried this murder as an act of “terrorism.”

On Oct. 19, during Israel’s ongoing slaughter of civilians, Christians sought safety from the constant bombardment and fled to a Greek Orthodox Church. Israel targeted the assembly hall, killing 20 people and injuring 14. This is an example of the murder spree launched by Netanyahu on what is considered Gaza’s open-air prison. Nearly 20,000 civilians have been killed, 70% women and children, with 1.8 million displaced. The Israeli military has cut off water, fuel and electricity, and by maintaining closed borders, are starving those they have not killed.  

The Christians of Gaza are asking for peace, as are their Muslim neighbors. Peace will not come through military means and the slaughter of innocents. Now as we celebrate the light of the world, isn’t it incumbent upon us to demand a permanent ceasefire in the Holy Land? Isn’t it time to allow the possibility of peace to take hold throughout our world? We owe it to one another and to our Creator to restore good will and peace. 

Call for a permanent ceasefire now and stop funding Israel’s war.

President Biden                  202-456 -1111              

Congressman Van Orden   608 -782-2558

Senator Tammy Baldwin   608-796-0045

Senator Ron Johnson          608-240-9629

An open letter to Christians worldwide from Christians in Palestine: