bethlehem story this is a journey through bethlehem today

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  • Bethlehem StoryThis is a journey through Bethlehem today.

  • Bethlehem - a city for peaceThe Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem in Palestine, marks the place where scripture tells us Jesus was born.

  • People from around the world come to Bethlehem to pray and remember what the birth of Jesus has meant for the worldPeace, love, friendship and justice for all.A story told around the world..

  • In Bethlehem there is a museum showing how people from every nation tell of the birth of JesusOlive wood from BethlehemEbony, from Africa

  • A story told around the world..From ChinaTo Latin America

  • Bethlehem a living cityToday, Bethlehem is the home of Christian and Muslim people

    Who live together in peace... going to school, to pray, to play.

  • A place of workHere is Elias, a woodcarver, who helped to make the Holy Family sets using olive wood from local trees.

  • Elias and his Dad, Joseph make olive wood and mother of pearl goods to support the family.

    While many families have left because life is too hard, Elias and his family have lived in Bethlehem here for 90 years!

  • A mix of old and new

    But sadly only 1.6% of the people are Christian and it used to be 20%Why?

    Bethlehem is a place of churches and mosques, schools and markets

  • Walls and barriersFor many years there has been conflict between Israel and Palestine and many people have died.

    The Government of Israel has built this large wall all around the town of Bethlehem.

    They think the wall will keep them safe

  • This wall makes life hard for people in Bethlehem Children cannot get to school. Farmers cannot get to their land.Some houses are almost surrounded by the wall

    Imagine Mary and Joseph trying to get through the wall to Bethlehem today.

  • In some places people have tried to make the wall look less frightening decorating it with lovely paintings

    In this picture, a child shows how love and peace will come when the wall is taken down and people can see one another

  • Let us pray for peace for the people of Bethlehem and for the world.

    Let us work to take down all the walls that keep us apart,

    as we remember Jesus, the prince of Peace

  • Let us pray for the Christian, Muslim and Jewish children of the Holy Land, that they may learn to live together in friendship and harmony as God wants them to.

  • Christmas Prayer

    Child of Bethlehem-house of bread;Man of Jerusalem-city of peace;you have loved us without limit or condition;in our greatness and in our misery,in our folly and in our virtue;may your hand be always upon usand may your heart be with usso that we toomay become bread and peacefor one another.

    Author John Hammond, OSB, Weston Priory, Weston Vermont 05161 USA

    Prayer resourcesThe meaning of ChristmasWhen the song of the angels is stilled.When the star in the sky is gone.When the kings and princes are home.When the shepherds are back with their flocks.The work of Christmas begins; to find the lost; to heal the broken; to feed the hungry; to release the prisoner; to rebuild the nations; to bring peace among people; to make music in the heart.Words: Howard Thurman (based on Pax Christi Christmas card)

  • Pax ChristiSt JosephsWatford Way, LondonNW4

    Photographs by Ann FarrGiovanni Scudiero Pat Gaffney