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Macau Catholics donate for victims of Israel-Hamas war

The funds were collected through two campaigns during Christmas and Lent
A Palestinian man carries a young child after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the building behind them in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023.

A Palestinian man carries a young child after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the building behind them in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

Published: April 12, 2024 09:17 AM GMT
Updated: April 12, 2024 10:08 AM GMT

Macau Catholic Church’s social service arm has raised one million Macanese patacas (US$123,940) from local Catholics to support victims of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, says a report.

The funds were collected from parishes and church-run organizations in the former Portuguese colony since Christmas by Caritas Macau, said Paul Pan, the organization’s secretary, reported Catholic weekly Jornal O-Clarim of Macau Diocese.

Pan said the funds have been sent to Caritas Internationalis, the global confederation of Catholic charities, to offer assistance to Palestinian refugees and internally displaced Israelis.

“The money will be used to help the victims. We did not specify which ones. What we said from the beginning, since this donation collection campaign was launched, is that it was intended to help the victims of the conflict,” Pan was quoted as saying.

“We raised money for refugees, some of whom are staying in churches. Churches were turned into shelters. But this is one of many different situations that require support,” he said, adding that over the last few months, Cáritas Macau has actively responded to the calls made by Cáritas Internationalis, to help “those most in need in this part of the planet.”

The funds were collected through two campaigns during Christmas and Lent, he said.

Pan said the amount might be small in terms of need, but the response from people has been overwhelming.

Students and teachers from schools are still sending their piggy banks, he added.

Catholics in Macau earlier responded to calls for generous donations for humanitarian crises in the past years, such as helping victims of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, when four million patacas were raised and sent.

Meanwhile, Church-run St. John de Britto School is promoting a fundraiser campaign for the victims of the April 3 earthquake in Taiwan that left 16 dead, more than one thousand injured, and damaged hundreds of buildings.

A Portuguese colony from 1557 to 1999, Macau (also called Macao) is a special administrative region of China known for its entertainment industry including high-end casinos and resorts.

Macau has an estimated population of about 700,000 including some 30,000 Catholics in nine parishes.

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