St. Andrew’s Church in Ramallah, repaired and ready to welcome and serve
In the early morning hours of August 18, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Ramallah was damaged and disrupted by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in a raid on the offices of the human rights group Al-Haq, a tenant in an adjacent Diocese of Jerusalem building. The IDF forced entry to the church, smashed glass, and destroyed the church entrance, and occupied the entire compound for more than two hours, causing distress to those who live there, including the Rev. Fadi Diab and his family.
Archbishop Hosam Naoum immediately denounced the action in a statement and called for a speedy and impartial investigation of the incident. The statement read, in part, “The community living inside the church compound felt unsafe during the assault: The sound of gunshots, stun grenades, and the smashing of doors caused terror among the families living inside the compound.”
It continued, “The Diocese considers the offense on the complex of St. Andrew’s in Ramallah an assault against its free exercise of religion as an established and officially recognized Christian Church. The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem therefore stands firmly with the Rector of St. Andrew’s, the Rev. Fadi Diab, and the whole community of St. Andrew’s in Ramallah, as well as with all who are distressed by this irresponsible act of violence.”
As of early September, repairs have been made and St. Andrew’s has resumed worship and parish life.
As part of AFEDJ’s Bearing Witness study program, Fr. Diab was filmed in June welcoming families to St. Andrew’s through the very entrance that was damaged just two months later. Watch his warm welcome in the brief clip below.
We’re grateful to see the people of St. Andrew’s steadfast in their mission to witness to the divine love “embodied in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.”