St George's Day
St George was a soldier of the Roman army who was tortured and beheaded for his Christian faith on 23rd April 303 AD. What many in England may not know is that St George grew up with his mother as a Christian in what is the modern day town of Lod, Israel. He is well known for his bravery, slaying the dragon, a protector of the vulnerable – a powerful symbol of the victory of faith over evil and the protection of those in need.
When we display our flags in celebration, it is the same Cross of St. George that also flies over churches and official buildings across the Holy Land. For St George is the singular saint venerated by both Muslims and Christians in the area for centuries. Many churches in the West Bank and Israel bear the name of St George. Many Palestinian Christian homes have an engraving over their doorway of St George slaying the dragon which is believed to provide protection to those entering the house.
Although it is originally a local Christian holiday, both Palestinian Christians and Muslims participate. Usually they are in procession around Bethlehem to the Church of St George in Al Khader to ask his protection and strength, particularly poignant this year for Muslims at the beginning of Ramadan; although while the Western world celebrates St George's Day on April 23, in the West Bank and Israel it falls on May 6, according to the calendar used by the Eastern Churches.
Sadly this church and all other places of worship will be closed this year. However the prayers and intercessions of these families to St George will be louder than the recent past as they face the rigours of unemployment with no safety net. So while we also seek the help of St George for strength and protection during our own lockdown conditions, can we also join in prayer for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land and, where possible help St George in his work by donating to the FHL Pentecost Challenge and stand in solidarity with his homeland.
The first £100,000 that is donated will be match funded by some of our generous supporters so every £1 will have the impact of £2.
You can donate by clicking here. Or find out more at the link below.