Orthodox Church Of Saint Porphyrius Damaged By Blast


Located in the Zaytun Quarter of the Old City of Gaza, Saint Porphyrius is named after the fifth century bishop of Gaza. His tomb is situated in the northeastern corner of the church. It is the oldest active church in the city.

Porphyrius, who lived between the years 347 and 420 C.E.) was known for Christianizing the then-pagan city of Gaza.

The Church of Saint Porphyrius has a rectangular shape and features a half-domed roof. The church consists of a single aisle and features three entrances. The western doors has a portico with three marble columns, the bases of which date from the Crusades.

In 2014, around 2,000 Palestinian Muslims fleeing Israeli bombings had taken shelter in the church. During the bombings, families slept in the corridors and rooms of the church and adjoining buildings, where they were given shelter, meals and medical care.

Gaza’s Christian community mostly lives within the city, especially in areas neighboring the Church of Saint Porphyrius, Holy Family Catholic Parish on Zeitoun Street and the Gaza Baptist Church.

As of last year, there were approximately 1,100 Christians in the Gaza Strip. The area’s population of 1.91 million is largely Muslim.

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