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In the part of the world known as the Holy Land, the Christian population has been rapidly decreasing. Regarded as the birthplace of Christianity, the Holy Land is important to modern Christians for its historical and spiritual significance. It is a common concern that, in the near future, the Holy Land will not be home to any living Christians, just museums.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Christian demographic in the Holy Land comprised 29% of the overall population, but today, it accounts for only 2% of inhabitants. Non-profit organization Friends of the Holy Land is invested in the cause of providing aid to Christians who live in this region through employment opportunities, housing initiatives, and more. Through various projects, including the ongoing Silent Nights in Bethlehem initiative, Friends of the Holy Land aims to support this vulnerable population in a land that is rich with significance to practitioners of the Christian faith.

Key Areas of Involvement

Friends of the Holy Land focus on a few key areas to help support Christians in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, and Jordan which comprise the Holy Land. Their efforts typically revolve around employment, housing, education, health, and family support. Initiatives include sponsoring students to attend Christian schools and covering medical costs for Christians who are struggling financially. Friends of the Holy Land partners with various organizations in the region including  Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and The Pontifical Mission, and they have also received support from Christians across denominations and blessings from church leaders across the United Kingdom.

Silent Nights in Bethlehem

The unique circumstances of this year present exceptionally difficult challenges to Christians living in this region. In particular, Bethlehem, which typically sees an influx of tourists around Christmas, will suffer economically this holiday season as hotels remain empty and businesses shut their doors. This project aims to alleviate the financial difficulties that will impact 80% of the families in Bethlehem as the result of travel and tourism restrictions. Interested parties can donate money to support Holy Land families during this time; already, Friends of the Holy Land has raised £26,553.48 for this initiative so far.

Through various projects and initiatives, Friends of the Holy Land hopes to support the decreasing Christian population in the Holy Land in an effort to preserve their presence in such a significant place and grant them hope that they might otherwise lack.

by Ekaterina Fields