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Nov 28, 2023

Churches Hold Peace Rally for Israel and Palestine

The sustained attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinians, including women and children, and have displaced many millions more. Since Israel declared war on the Gaza Strip after an unprecedented attack by Hamas, Israel has imposed a blockade of the Gaza Strip, stopping the entry of food, supplies, fuel and other essential commodities into the area. The Government of Belize decided to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel in light of its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Since then, the religious community has called on the government to reconsider that decision. Today, a few of those churches came together at a rally in front of the National Assembly Building in Belmopan to, “pray for the peace of Israel and Palestine,”. News Five’s Marion Ali was there and filed this report.

Marion Ali, Reporting
The lively singing of songs of worship through principal streets in Belmopan today was symbolic of the hope these people have for the quick restoration of peace on the Gaza Strip.

Fr. Scott Stirm

Pastor Scott Stirm, Organizer, Prayer Rally

“As Biblical Christians, you know, the word of God commands us to pray for Israel, but we all agreed that we’re not just interested in praying for Israel to the neglect of anything else. We want to pray for the Palestinians. We want to pray for Belize. We want to pray for the whole situation, right, because these are people that Jesus died for. He died for the Jews. He died for the Gentiles. And so we’re not interested in the back and forth of us versus them. We’re praying for the whole situation and we want to see the war end.”
The crowd of about two hundred that gathered to pray held Israeli flags, but one of the organizers of the event, Pastor Richard Smith clarified that the intent was to unite both sides.

Fr. Richard Smith

Pastor Richard Smith, Organizer, Prayer Rally
“It was hard to find an Israeli flag, to be honest with you, me.”



“There were a lot of Palestinian flags in the Belize City march, though.”


Pastor Richard Smith

“Alright, then go back to the government and ask them to please donate some Palestinian flags for us. We raise flags of all nations. All nations are important. I’ve been to different nations. I’ve been to 19 countries, and I will go to more. As a matter of fact, in January I’m going to Africa, so, our mandate is to go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the outermost part of the Earth. So we are committed to nations, but, we wish there would be no war. It’s bad for everybody.”


And while the turnout was pro-Israel, Smith said the event was anti-political.

Pastor Richard Smith
“If you read the Bible, it says, He shall be my witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of the Earth. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which is Israel. So, we are not getting to the politics of Israel. We are getting to the, the command of God to stand up for peace across the nation.”
Both Smith and co-organizer of the event, Pastor Scott Stirm told the media that they believes the message was sent to the government to restore diplomatic ties with Israel.

Pastor Scott Stirm
“We’re not interested in the back and forth of us versus them. We’re praying for the whole situation and we want to see the war end. We want to see the dying stop.”


Marion Ali

“You’re also asking the government to reconsider the suspension of diplomatic ties between Belize and Israel. But your numbers are only like, what, 200. Do you think the message will be sent?”


Pastor Scott Stirm

“I think so. I mean, it’s 200 for Tuesday and we didn’t pay anybody.”
Pastor Richard Smith

“Every one, every two, every one we have represent two of the other side. You know why? Because if I say one, we’ll put a thousand to flight. Two, ten thousand. And so, we have so much people here. We are seeing victory. This is victory. I was ready to march if it’s me one.”


Marion Ali for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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