Call To Action To Help Bethlehem From Your Easy Chair


 Support for Bethlehem from faith leaders

​As Presidents of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland we wish to convey our support for the people of Bethlehem and particularly for the aims and work of the Open Bethlehem Project.

We view  the barrier being built around Bethlehem as a grave injustice to its people, a serious threat to its economic life and social fabric, and an affront to all Christians.

– Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

The Israeli-built wall is “a sign of all that is wrong in the human heart”,

– The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, upon his visit to Bethlehem in 2006. 

The people of Bethlehem are tonight celebrating the Nativity with joy. But they feel terribly alone. Recently Pope Benedict accepted, on behalf of the Catholic Church, a symbolic Bethlehem passport. He wanted to show that we are all citizens of Bethlehem, and that Bethlehem should be a free and open city. I hope that we can play our part in ensuring that it stay that way

– Extract from cardinal Cormac Murphy- O’Connors speech at midnight Mass at Westminster Cathedral in Christmas 2005

Key facts


  • Bethlehem today has a population of more than 220,000 people, including more than 20,000 living in three refugee camps

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  • There are 100,000 Israeli settlers surrounding the town, including within the Israeli-expanded and annexed “Jerusalem municipality”​
  • Settlements breach international law (e.g., Art. 49(6) as stipulated by the Fourth Geneva Convention: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”)

  • Bethlehem has now been reduced to less than 13% of its original territory.​

Synopsis 


​‘Open Bethlehem,’ explores life in the city where Jesus was born, and the challenges facing its residents, especially the Christian community whose numbers are in critical decline. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, Leila Sansour, who has been documenting the events unfolding in her city over the past decade.​The Bethlehem resident and filmmaker has approached this project with one simple request: “Help us open Bethlehem.

Representatives are being urged to consider the birthplace of Christianity as millions all over the world prepare to celebrate Christmas in the coming weeks.

​Download our poster for the Congress event

​Read our press release for the Congress event

A list of screenings in the USA

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