Parish priest of Gaza: “We are still waiting for peace”

The people of the Gaza Strip “have no hope,” but live “expecting the worst.” Fr. Mario da Silva, parish priest of the small Christian community, says.

The recent closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing, since 9 July, has worsened the situation in the Strip, which has been unsustainable for months. The population lives on 4 hours of electricity, in which there is also a half hour break. “With the closing, says the pastor, the basic things are starting to go wrong. People start to worry and wonder if there will be gasoline, food. They’re starting to miss it already.”

The Church seeks to protect the small Christian community in every way possible, creating job opportunities for young Christians in Gaza. About 50 jobs for the Church. “We also created a cultural center to teach English, use computers and things like that, so they can stay,” says Fr. Mario. The parish also seeks to financially support the 110 community employees who have lost their salaries. “Every month we give between $200 and $250 so that Christians can go on.” Many efforts, but they are not enough. “There’s very little we can do, so when they find the opportunity, they’ll try to leave.”

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