Dozens of Gazan Catholics reacted fearfully after a bomb exploded outside the Holy Family Catholic Parish in northern Gaza, according to video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.
The clip, posted by “Catholic News and Opinion” account Catholic Arena, shows the parishioners flinching and covering their ears as the bomb goes off, after which a hubbub of voices engulfs the worship space as people rise from their pews and mill around the church. Books can be seen flying off the sill of an open window after the explosion, but the church appears otherwise undamaged.
Fear and screams from Catholic families at Holy Family Parish Church as bombs rain down during Mass pic.twitter.com/mtnN9J4nA6
— Catholic Arena (@CatholicArena) November 1, 2023
“Fear and screams from Catholic families at Holy Family Parish Church as bombs rain down during Mass,” the video’s caption read. The Daily Caller could not independently verify that the explosion took place during mass, but an amplified voice can be heard reading or chanting before falling silent as a whooshing sound signaled the bomb’s approach.
The Holy Family Catholic Parish has been sheltering nearly 700 refugees whose homes were destroyed in Israel’s war against Hamas, which began after the terror group launched an Oct. 7 attack against Israel that killed over 1,400 people, according to Vatican News. There are about 200 people, including 40 children, taking refuge inside the church, while an additional 500 adults and children are being housed in an orphanage on the church’s property, The Atlantic reported.
The displaced families have bonded as a Christian community since they became refugees, Vatican News reported. Mass is said twice daily, and countless rosaries have been prayed for peace and protection, per the outlet.
Food and water supplies, however, have run low as sleeping inside the church for weeks on end causes strain for building’s new inhabitants, Vatican News reported.. (RELATED: ‘We’ve Got Enough Of A Problem’: Tucker, Nigel Farage Question Calls To Accept Gaza Refugees After Pro-Hamas Protests)
“I strongly believe this war is a message for all humanity, for us, for all,” said Suhail Abo Dawod, an 18-year-old Gazan Catholic taking shelter at the church, per the outlet. “But I also think there is a message from God for our Christian community in Gaza.”