Historic Gaza Church Debunks Rumors Of Its Destruction, Opens Doors To Refugees

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Elizabeth Weibel Contributor
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A historic Greek Orthodox church in Gaza City, Palestine, debunked online rumors it had been destroyed Monday, telling Facebook users it was opening its doors to refugees.

Saint Porphyrios Church responded to comments from people on Facebook asking if it had been destroyed. Several reports from users on Twitter initially indicated the church had been destroyed after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern and central Israel early Saturday morning.

“This news is wrong,” the church wrote in response to one person’s Facebook comment asking them if it was true it had been destroyed in the wake of Israeli airstrikes.

Screenshot via Facebook. Taken at approximately 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday 10/9/2023.

Screenshot via Facebook. Taken at approximately 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday 10/9/2023.

“To confirm: no church damage?” another user asked.

“The church is currently opening its doors to receive refugees inside,” the church once again responded. (RELATED: Israel Ignored Warnings About Hamas’ Surprise Attack, Egyptian Official Says)

“Our beloved brothers in the Lord, we inform you that the church of St. Porferius in Gaza is in the best condition … And the news you spread is nothing more than rumors … We thank all of you who asked and cared,” a later post from the church reads, according to an English translation.

The church is reportedly one of the largest and oldest in Gaza, with its history dating back to 395 A.D.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday declared war on Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union. The attack represented the deadliest brought on Israel in 50 years, with roughly 5,000 rockets launched at the country.

Nine Americans have been killed as a result of the attacks on Israel, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) confirmed Sunday evening on Twitter that more than 700 Israelis had been reported dead.