Churches march in support of Israel
Churches from various parts of the country gathered in Belmopan for a march calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Gaza. Reporter Benjamin Flowers has the story.
Benjamin Flowers, Love News: It was a call for peace that brought over a hundred parishioners and their pastors to the foot of the National Assembly stairs today. After some prayer and worship, they took to the streets of Belmopan bearing Israeli flags and placards expressing support for Israel. The march just almost a week after a much larger gathering was held in Belize City in support of Palestine. One of the coordinators of today’s event, Pastor Scott Stirm of Jubilee Ministries, said that while the churches are in support of Israel, the attendees are praying for an end to civilian casualties on both sides.
Pastor Scott Stirm, Jubilee Ministries: “This is under the banner of united churches because there was a bunch of churches that came together, NEAB leaders are involved but it wasn’t necessarily an official NEAB event, it was bigger than that. It was a broad spectrum of churches and so and it’s wonderful to see people come together to pray. For us the most important thing is that we wanted to stand on the word of God. the Bible commands for us to pray for the peace of Israel and Jerusalem but we all agreed as leaders that we want to pray for Palestine as well. It’s not an us versus them, this is not a tit for tat, these are all people that God cared about and so our ultimate punchline is we want the world to be able to stop. We want the innocent civilians who are dying in the midst of this no both sides we want that to stop.”
Benjamin Flowers, Love News: Participating pastors said that they lent their support for the initiative out of a biblically prescribed duty to pray for Israel. They also said that supporting Israel will also entreat the favor of God upon Belize.
Participating Pastor: “You will always have innocent people losing their lies that’s the whole gist of wars you can’t prevent that but what we want the people of Belize to know is where we stand and we stand on the word of God. In Mathew 5 it talks about loving one another. We’re supposed to love one another. We’re supposed to love our enemy. We’re supposed to pray for them and that’s what we’re here to do. We are here to pray for our enemies and so on. Right now the government is our enemy there’s no doubt about it because they have made a stance and they have made a stance publicly.”
Participant: “It is important because we know from the word of God that the palaces of the government brings a curse upon the people of Belize. The leaders have brought a curse upon themselves but we want to make sure that we’re asking God for mercy that this curse doesn’t come upon the people of Belize. And so the church has a responsibility to stand up in the midst of evil and to say to the leaders that they’re leading us down a dead end. They’re leading us down a path of a curse and we don’t want to go with them. We want them to turn back, to return in repentance to Jesus Christ.”
Benjamin Flowers, Love News: Though the participants were taken from a wide range of backgrounds they were united in their convictions that supporting Israel is the will of God.
Participant: “Out of all the whole world which all belongs to God there’s one land, one tiny little piece of land that he has designated and given a deed you can’t have a deed more powerful that one given from the creator of heaven and earth and he said this land will be for Abraham and for Yitzah for Isaac and Jacob and for their seed forever. He doesn’t make any qualms about this so if we are not standing with the sovereign right of the state of Israel to exists as established by the Lord God then we are standing against God. It’s a very simple conflict. One side wants the other side dead. It’s not that Hamas has said okay we want to live in peace with Israel and we just want peace in our nations between our entities no they have declared openly unashamed they’ve said they want to end Israel, they want it to cease to exist and they want to kill all Jews.”
Benjamin Flowers, Love News: Some participants attended the March on conviction alone while others were more versed in the historical context of the conflict.
Prayer March Participant: “I don’t know so much about the situation in Gaza but I do know that my God is good and I believe peace and I believe that we must stand with Israel. That’s what is written in the bible. I personally believe that.”
Prayer March Participant: “This whole situation is very personal to me. I was in Jerusalem on October 7th when it took place and yes I am praying and asking like we were saying we want the Belizean government to reconsider cutting ties with Israel and we want peace for the nation and we want peace for the Middle East. I think it’s important for people to understand that it’s just like Belize they’re real people and put yourself in that situation you son going to war, your family members are being very personally affected by this and so yes its’ a very real thing and we need to call for peace and pray for peace.”
Benjamin Flowers, Love News: Participants also signed a letter of support, that the united churches will be sending to Israel by way of the Israeli ambassador. The groups have not discussed putting together a petition to government to resume diplomatic relations with Israel but say that doing so is a possibility. Benjamin Flowers for Love News.