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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Cardinal Nichols says faith reassures Christians in Gaza Strip

Cardinal Vincent Nichols said his pastoral visit to Holy Family Parish in Gaza reinforced the importance of Christian hope, especially for those living in very insecure circumstances.

“It is very encouraging to witness the faith of the community of Christians living in that enclosed space and also in the midst of a huge Muslim community majority,” he said. “They live day by day, and their faith is a reassurance for them.”

Some 1,400 Christians, including 170 Catholics, live among 2 million Muslims in the Gaza Strip, which at its widest point is 7.5 miles and has one of the highest population densities in the world. Most Gaza Christians live in Gaza City.

Cardinal Nichols said he did not see or hear of any direct religious tensions during his visit on 6th November, although being such a tiny minority it is clear to Christians what the dominate culture of the area is, and Christians have to be “attentive to that.”

Religion, he said, plays a fundamental role in people’s identity in the area.

Picture: Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrates Mass at Holy Family Church in Gaza City on 6th November. The cardinal said his pastoral visit reinforced the importance of Christian hope, especially for those living in very insecure circumstances. (CNS photo/Mohammed Saber, EPA).