The Church of Saint Porphyrius was hit by an Israeli airstrike on Thursday, October 19. The church was sheltering 500 Christians and Muslims who had lost their homes in previous airstrikes. Two people were confirmed dead and dozens injured, but the exact number of dead cannot be verified because those sheltering in the lower area of the church lay covered in rubble of the collapsed building. However, church sources on the scene, reported to their supporters in Manchester, Connecticut they are estimating 150-200 are dead.
The Jewish State of Israel has declared war on the 3 million Palestinian civilians of Gaza, who are mainly Muslim, while the Christian community numbers about 2,000 people. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are attacking homes, hospitals, schools and churches since they launched Operation Swords of Iron in response to a large Hamas attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers beginning on October 7.
The Christian faith originated in Palestine, in the streets of Bethlehem and Jerusalem in the Occupied West Bank, where the Christian community is larger than the Christian community in Gaza.
In Gaza, there are three churches: Greek Orthodox Church, Baptist Church, and Roman Catholic Church.
The Church of Saint Porphyrius, Greek Orthodox, is the oldest active church in Gaza, located in Zeitoun, which is the same neighborhood as the Al Ahli Hospital, run by the Anglican Church (The Church of England) that was hit on October 17.