Bethlehem and Jerusalem, where Jesus was born, crucified and rose to new life, were once bustling with local Christians. The Holy Land is the birthplace of Christianity and part of the fundamental history of all Christians.
Many have now left to seek a new life elsewhere. Now, around 200,000 Christians live in Israel and the west bank. This is about 1% of the population. In addition to Anglicans and Latins, they include Melkite, Maronite, Syrian, Armenian, Chaldean and Coptic groupings as well as all the Orthodox churches.
Many suffer from restricted ability to travel, very high unemployment, poverty, lack of social services, poor living conditions, lack of food and the stress of uncertainty, today and in the future. Fear and anguish pervade many lives. This is the price they are paying for continuing to live in the Holy Land.
The purpose of the FHL is to support Christians, enabling them to stay and to improve their circumstances; to ensure that the Holy Land does not become a cultural museum, as the ‘living stones’ that represent Christianity in the land of Our Lord’s birth cease to exist.