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World News

Christians on both sides condemn human cost of Israel Gaza conflict

by Donna Birrell

A minister who works for the Methodist Church in Israel has been describing how Christians in his services hold differing viewpoints about the war between Israel and Hamas. But he says they all agree it is the anti-thesis of Jesus’ teachings.

Rev David Hardman who is the Methodist Liaison Officer in Jerusalem has been speaking to Premier:

“I think it's safe to say both in the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and here in Jerusalem, that there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty.

“It is absolutely horrendous, any loss of life is dreadful. And as Christians, we stand as followers of the Prince of Peace, and we don't believe in violence.

“On Sunday morning, I was due to come to Jerusalem from the West Bank to come to a church service. We weren't able to do that because checkpoints were closed and the West Bank was locked down. So we went online as a Christian community. And as a Christian community, we had people who were concerned from an Israeli point of view, who had people in their family called up and were frightened for their safety. We had people who knew that their relatives were in the army around Gaza, and were concerned for their safety. And we had Palestinian families who had families in Gaza who were concerned for their safety as well. So as a Christian community, we came together from what you would consider different political sides and seeing things differently from our own particular perspectives. But we gathered together and we prayed together for each other's concerns.

“We felt that the presence of God was in those prayers because we were bringing all our concerns about human beings. At the end of the day, this is what this is about. The cost of this war is the life of human beings, whether they be Israeli, whether they be Palestinian, whether they be Jewish, whether they be Muslim, whether they be Christian, or whether they be internationals. It is the human cost that is absolutely horrendous. Jesus walked this land and said, ‘I have come that you might have life in all its fullness’, and this is the exact opposite.”



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