Residents of Christianity’s home town are living through terrifying times under constant raids by Israel.
These raids are threatening worship at Christianity’s Church of Nativity; entering the occupied town of Bethlehem in the Palestinian territories involves lengthy wait times and searches.
Rachel’s Tomb, the site which used to mark the entrance to Bethlehem for travelers coming south from Jerusalem has been sealed by Israel.
Just miles away from Jerusalem, Bethlehem has been enclosed into a walled city disconnected from the rest of the Christian world.
The effect of the wall is disturbing Christians in the Holy Land as well as Christians of the world, as many observe Israel slowly erase historical boundaries of the city, and force historical Christian families that have lived there for decades to leave the city.
Muslims and Christians have links through common worship in certain holy places such as the monastery of the Prophet Elijah, a Greek Orthodox institution north of Bethlehem. For a long time both Christians and Muslims went there to picnic on the annual feast of Elijah - but now the site lies outside the city’s wall Israel has constructed, and very few people are allowed to go.
Conservative family bonds amongst Bethlehem residents have tried to keep Christian faith alive in the Holy Land - however Israel has forced many in desperation leaving them without an ability to feed their families.