When most well-meaning Westerners think of Arabs or Palestinians, they do not think of Christians. For Arab believers who are Christians living in Israel, Palestine, and the greater Middle East region, the cost is very high. The Arab peoples now number in the millions. While most adhere to Islam in some form, there is a tiny group of people, keeping the Lord Jesus Christ’s flame alive in the face of extraordinary hardship.
Select International Tours, for over three decades, has organized pilgrimages to Holy Land with the intent of taking groups to experience first hand the land where Our Lord walked. On each itinerary, we spend time meeting the Christians of the Holy Land who are the Living Stones, among the dead stones depicting the land’s history. We stay in Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Saviour, and share a meal with the local Christians in their home through our “Sharing the Bread” fellowship encounter. Less than 2% of the population today are Christian Arabs, most of them living in Nazareth, the largest Christian city in the Middle East, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. Over the last forty years, there has been a massive “Christian Exodus” from the Holy Land and the entire Middle East. But can we stand-by and accept the Holy Land without any Christians living in it?
We at Select International Tours have been privileged to visit the Holy Land many times. We have witnessed first-hand the impact of a Holy Land pilgrimage on the pilgrims and their faith. We have seen many people return over and over again, finding new joy with each visit.
Each trip brings new encounters with old friends and new ones as well. Each time we are amazed and touched at the Holy Land’s Christians’ deep faith that sustains them through a life of hardship and discrimination. As a friend from Nazareth said, “To be a Christian in the Holy Land is at the same time a blessing and a curse!”
At this time, it is critical to support our brothers and sisters. They suffer even more now because their primary source of livelihood (pilgrimages and tourism) has come to a complete stop due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Through the work of our charity “Select to Give,” we help the Christians of the Holy Land stay in the land of their ancestors. Please help us support the Christians of the Holy Land by visiting selecttogive.org
About the Author
Edita Krunic is the founder and President of Select International Tours and the founder of Select to Give, a 501(c)(c3) volunteer-administered charity that serves Christians living in the Holy Land. To lean more about the Select to Give Foundation, please visit www.selecttogive.org