On Sunday, a prayer event is set to draw thousands outside the gates of Downing Street, commemorating over 200 Israeli hostages taken by Hamas on October 7th.
The event, organised by Haley Gutman and her husband, pastors in the Assemblies of God church, aims to unite Jews and Christians in solidarity.
Another programme earlier organised by Christians against Antisemitism had to be cancelled due to security concerns raised by the police. Haley Gutman expressed the need to educate people on the history of antisemitism, emphasising Christianity’s role in it. Premier Sunday’s vigil is an opportunity for Jews and Christians to stand together in friendship, unity, and love.
Haley Gutman, who, along with her husband, pastors in the Assemblies of God church, established the group. They travel to churches, engaging with leaders and Christians, aiming to educate them on the history of antisemitism, including Christianity’s historical role.
Premier Sunday’s vigil, according to Gutman, is an opportunity for Jews and Christians to “stand together, united in friendship, unity, and love.”
“We want to send a message to the Jewish community that Christians stand with them, that they are not alone, and that we are here, praying for them,” Gutman emphasized.
The event will feature a mix of Hebrew songs, Hebrew prayers, and Christian prayers—a beautiful union of Jews and Gentiles standing in solidarity, praying for the victims taken into Gaza and for the safe return of the hostages.
Similar events in support of the hostages have taken place in Washington DC and across Europe.
In Israel, thousands have marched from Tel Aviv to Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem, and the Israeli Prime Minister has agreed to meet with them on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Qatar has reported that only “very minor” details remain for a potential deal between Israel and Hamas to secure the release of the approximately 238 hostages held in Gaza.
Qatar, known for brokering ceasefires between Israel and Hamas in the past, has been a key mediator since the October 7th attacks.
While events in Gaza are unfolding rapidly, Gutman expresses confidence that the situation there can impact gatherings in England. She mentions that the police have approved their plans, and she is not concerned about the risk of reprisals at the gathering.
“They’re fully supportive. We have a very strong policing plan in place. I’m not at all worried. Nothing generally happens, so we think the risk is low,” Gutman reassured.
As the news from Gaza continues to evolve, this prayer event in London shows the global concern for the well-being of the hostages and the desire for peace and unity across religious communities.