The recent escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza has been truly heartbreaking. Innocent men, women and children taken hostage, thousands killed, and now hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the middle of the fighting.
As Christians, we are called to love our neighbours, to mourn with those who mourn, and to seek peace and justice for all God’s children, but how can we do that wisely in times of conflict?
Here are some thoughts to help guide your giving at this time:
1. Giving money is often best
According to the British Red Cross, “While well-intentioned, donations of food, clothing, and other items are not currently the best or quickest way to help people in need. There are huge costs involved in shipping these items, so local purchases of food and clothing are more effective, and cash transfers to the region provide flexibility to our colleagues on the ground.”
2. Give money safely
The Charity Commission recommends directing financial support to registered and recognised charities and NGOs. “Operating in a conflict zone is complex and hazardous, with registered charities and global NGOs working hard to support affected civilians across and within borders. These established, recognised organisations already have the networks on the ground for delivering aid and are the best organisations to support financially to ensure donations reach civilians in need.”
When you give with Stewardship you can be reassured that all UK registered charities partnered with us have been checked and verified with the Charity Commission. For Overseas organisations we also review against their local in-country equivalents where possible, for added security when you give. You can check your chosen charity either with Stewardship: Support a cause or the Government charity register. With a Stewardship Giving Account, you can be confident in your giving, knowing that Stewardship has undertaken the appropriate checks.
3. The gift of prayer is something we can all offer
Polarisation and conflict can sometimes lead to paralysis – but praying for peace transcends these issues. Pray for an end to the violence and for a just and lasting peace. Pray for the protection and healing of the civilians, especially the children, who are caught in the crossfire. Pray for the release of the hostages and for the reconciliation of the communities. Pray for the courage and wisdom of the leaders and the peacemakers. Pray for the work of the humanitarian agencies and the local churches who are responding to the crisis.
If you’d like to support those on the frontlines by giving financially, we’ve compiled a list of charities that we know are active and responding to those affected on all sides of the conflict in Gaza at this time.
If you represent a church or a charity currently considering or raising funds towards relief efforts relating to conflict, you may wish to read our advice on responding in generosity during times of war (originally written following the invasion of Ukraine).
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