Christians in Occupied Palestine
While millions of tourists come and go from the Holy Land each year, life for Christians both in Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is not what it may seem if you are visiting for only a few days or do not take the time to hear the stories of those you meet.
We invite you make time to listen and grow in your understanding of the complex life in Palestine under Israeli occupation in order that you might return to your home country and share what you have learned. The Holy Land cannot heal nor again prosper as long as the world outside believes only what is displayed on TV.
Stories from the ELCJHL
- A Message for Peace by Bishop Younan, following the November 2012 ceasefire
- I am Palestine with Rev. Ashraf Tannous, “Human, Christian, Pastor, … Refugee” (2012)
- Forbidden Families (current)
- Life in Ramallah (current)
- Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem (current)
- The Housing Situation in Palestine (2007)
- Vandalized by Israeli Soldiers (2002)
Videos and Films about Palestine
- RT: Israel & Palestine: A History of Occupation (Nov 16, 2012)
- CBS 60 Minutes – Christians in the Holy Land (Apr 25, 2012)
- CBS 60 Minutes – Exposing Israeli Apartheid – Part 1 | Part 2 (Jan 31, 2009)
- Life in Occupied Palestine by Anna Baltzer
- Occupation 101 – an introduction to the feature documentary film (2007)
- It’s PalesTIME – a sober assessment of the degree to which Holy Land travelers omit Bethlehem from their itineraries or visit the city only briefly.
- Little Town of Bethlehem – follows the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The story explores each man’s choice of nonviolent action amidst a culture of overwhelming violence.
Data, Books, and Information
- Palestinian Christians in the West Bank: Facts, Figures and Trends by the DIYAR consortium
- DIYAR Publishing (articles, books and video clips)
- The story of the Kairos Palestine statement
Christian Zionism, a belief that paradise for Christians can only be achieved once Jews are in control of the Holy Land, is gathering strength in the United States. It is forging alliances which are giving increasingly bizarre shape to American foreign policy toward the Middle East while supporting the Israeli illegal occupation of Palestine.
- With God on Our Side – a film about the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel (2012)
- Toward a Lutheran Response to Christian Zionism by Rev Robert Smith (2008)
- Christian Zionism: An Egregious Threat to Middle East Understanding by Rev Robert Smith (2006)
- Lutheran Journal of Ethics on Christian Zionism by Bishop Munib Younan (2007)
- Local Heads of Churches Release Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism (2006)
What can you do?
These are just examples of the problems facing Palestinians today, which fall hard on Palestinian Christians due to their already small numbers and extended, disparate families throughout the area.
As there are hundreds of not-for-profit and NGO organizations working in Palestine and Israel, with thousands of volunteers and employees working to find solutions to these complex issues, there are numerous resources available on-line should you desire to learn more.
You can begin by visiting our Resources for Local & Global Partners who work with the ELCJHL in Palestine. Learn as much as you can. And then spread the word about the plight of the Palestinians to your friends, fellow Christians, and Congressmen and women too.
As the U.S. continues to fund Israel at a number of levels, if you are a U.S. citizen, you can make your voice heard. Tell your Congress person what you have seen and heard while visiting the Holy Land and demand that the U.S. no longer support what is happening here.
Palestinian Christians are among the oldest in the world. Like all people, everywhere, they deserve a quality of life and land to call their own. Help their story be heard.