In photos: Palestinian Christians welcome Easter’s “Holy Fire” to Gaza

Posted: May 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Greek Orthodox Christians marked the beginning of Easter Sunday with a four-hour midnight service in Gaza’s 1,606-year-old Church of Saint Porphyrius last night.

(Photo: Joe Catron)

(Photo: Joe Catron)

On Friday, Israeli occupation authorities turned “dozens” of church members back from the Beit Hanoun checkpoint, despite their permits to spend Easter in the West Bank.

(Photo: Joe Catron)

(Photo: Joe Catron)

Those who reached Jerusalem faced “a battle camp scenario,” Hanna Amireh, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee and head of the Presidential Committee on Church Affairs, told the AFP.

(Photo: Joe Catron)

(Photo: Joe Catron)

“It is not only that Israel has isolated our occupied capital from the rest of our country – forcing our people to apply for special military permits to access their families and holy places for religious occasions – but even Palestinians from Jerusalem were beaten when trying to reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” Amireh said. “Even praying has become an act of resistance for Palestinians.”

(Photo: Joe Catron)

(Photo: Joe Catron)

Under attack in Jerusalem and siege in Gaza, the Holy Fire ceremony proceeded, as a flame believed to be miraculously produced in Church of the Holy Sepulchre was quickly spread to Greek Orthodox and other Eastern Christian believers across  the world.

(Photo: Joe Catron)

(Photo: Joe Catron)

This year Roman Catholics in Gaza celebrated Easter according to the Orthodox calendar as a show of Christian unity, and many whose service at Holy Family Church had ended earlier joined the gathering at Saint Porphyrius.

(Photo: Joe Catron)

(Photo: Joe Catron)

The event culminated with a spirited rally and fireworks display in the church’s courtyard at midnight, but continued for several hours into the early morning.

(Photo: Joe Catron)

(Photo: Joe Catron)

 

Comments
  1. gazaheart says:

    Reblogged this on Tales of a City by the Sea.

Comment

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