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Silence in the West: The Overlooked Suffering of Palestinian Christians

Published December 26, 2023
7 months ago

In the tumultuous landscape of the Middle East, the plight of Palestinian Christians remains a narrative less told. A sense of abandonment has descended upon the Christian minority in Gaza as they endure the brunt of a conflict that pays them little heed. The escalating violence has not only raised the question of genocide but has also highlighted the stark indifference from Christian-majority nations in the West.

The crisis in Gaza extends beyond the contours of religious affiliations, with Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike succumbing to the violence perpetrated in the name of security and counterterrorism. The assertion that Israel's military actions solely target terrorists has been disputed widely, with legal experts raising the alarm over actions amounting to genocide. The Christian community, numbering around 1,000 pre-war individuals, has seen its numbers decline with an alarming death rate that outpaces the average across the Gaza population.

This anguish among Palestinian Christians has historical roots, dating back to the trauma of the Nakba in 1948, when they, alongside Palestinian Muslims, were expelled or fled under duress as Israeli forces took control. For decades, Palestinian Christians residing in what became Israel have faced discriminatory laws and practices that curtail their rights and freedoms, the vestiges of which continue to this day.

Incidents of aggression against Palestinian Christians have surged, with Jewish extremists targeting religious processions, property, and even sanctuaries deemed safe havens. The silence and inaction of purporters of religious and democratic principles, particularly from leaders like U.S. President Joe Biden, strike a discordant note, sowing doubts about the commitment to upholding human rights across all creeds.

The international response from Western Christian-majority countries has, to date, been lackluster at best. The significant lack of pressure against Israel from power brokers like the United States reflects this apathy. Attempts at the UN Security Council to establish ceasefires or hold Israel accountable have been notoriously undermined by such powers, leaving Palestinian Christians and the wider community in a perpetual state of limbo and distress.

In defiance of this international neglect, the resilience of the Palestinian Christian community continues to be a beacon of hope. As the festive season, usually a time of celebration, turns to mourning, the spirit of unity between Palestinian Muslims and Christians grows ever stronger. These communities, bound by a shared history and struggle, remain steadfast in their quest for justice, dignity, and peace.

Despite heart-wrenching appeals to global leaders to recognize and halt the genocide, hope arises from the solidarity that weathers Israeli intimidation, revealing an indomitable spirit that resists division. As the world observes from sidelines draped with silence, the enduring faith of Palestinian Christians flickers amidst the shadow of conflict, lighting the way for a future where their voices, and lives, finally garner the recognition and protection they profoundly deserve.

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