Fact Check: Israel Did NOT Bomb, Destroy 900-Year-Old Church of Saint Porphyrios In Gaza On October 9, 2023

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Israel Did NOT Bomb, Destroy 900-Year-Old Church of Saint Porphyrios In Gaza On October 9, 2023 Unharmed

This fact check focuses only on claims surrounding a purported bombing of Saint Porphyrios Church on October 9, 2023.

Was the nearly 900-year-old Saint Porphyrios Greek Orthodox Church In Gaza destroyed by Israeli bombs? No, that's not true: After claims went viral that the church had been destroyed, the church posted messages on its Facebook account, reassuring the community that the rumors were not true and the church "is in the best condition." The poster himself corrected the claim later the same day.

The claim was posted (archived here) by Sulaiman Ahmed on X (formerly Twitter) on October 9, 2023. It was captioned:


Israel has bombed the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza.

The church is the THIRD OLDEST CHRISTIAN temple in the WORLD.

The irony lies in Christian Zionists supporting the destruction of their own churches.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Oct 10 17:36:20 2023 UTC)

The photo in the post is the Wikipedia creative commons image of the church, photographed on November 29, 2022. The following post in Ahmed's thread is video of the ornate interior, captioned:


The next post in the thread (archived here) offers a correction and shares a screenshot from the Facebook account of Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church - Gaza, but the original post has been shared much more than the correction.

Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church - Gaza posted on their Facebook page (archived here) on October 9, 2023, at 9:30 p.m. local time. The screenshot below shows the entire message translated into English, but it appears to have originally been four similar captions that were composed in several languages. One reads:

Dear beloveds in Christ. We would like to inform you that Saint Porphyrios Church in Gaza is untouched and operating in service of the community and our congregation. The news circulating about it being damaged are false. We appreciate your concern for thr safety of our church and people and request your prayers for us.
Saint Porphyrios Church
Gaza- 10/09/2023 21:30 pm


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Oct 10 17:30:15 2023 UTC)

The church has posted once more since this message, with no further update regarding any damage to the church. On October 10, 2023, they wrote:

Our beloved sons
Archbishop Alexios and Father Silas wish you and your families well, and they would like to inform you that they will not be traveling abroad

Other Lead Stories articles on claims pertaining to the 2023 Hamas-Israel conflict are here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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