The Orthodox Christian response to the violence and suffering in Gaza is being expressed through the work of International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC] in the region. In a statement released Monday, January 12, 2008, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, joined His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and the other hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America [SCOBA] in endorsing and supporting the humanitarian work of IOCC in Gaza.
Metropolitan Jonah’s statement reads as follows.
“The parishes and members of the Orthodox Church in America should urgently offer their financial support to IOCC, earmarking this support at this time for work in Gaza. As Orthodox Christians, members of the Orthodox Church in America are in deep solidarity with the suffering people in the Middle East – Christians, Muslims, and Jews. The many hundreds of dead and wounded civilians in Gaza and in the whole region bear witness in their suffering to the real meaning of military and political conflict: it is innocent people who suffer the most. The governments and political leaders of Israel, Gaza, and the Palestinian authority, as well as the broader Middle East region must live up to their moral obligation to protect innocent civilian populations, and indeed to find the political compromises and solutions which could bring peace. The moral responsibility of the United States is also evident. It should be clear to all that doing things as they have always been done will not bring new and better results.”
IOCC was founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the SCOBA, and has implemented over $275 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries around the world.
To help IOCC speed relief to individuals and families who have been caught in this conflict, visit www.iocc.org, call IOCC toll free at 1-877-803-4622, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write “Middle East Relief” in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, MD. 21263-0225