The International Community of the Holy Sepulchre (ICoHS) has launched a Christmas appeal to support and encourage the Christian community and Christian Church in the Holy Land. According to ICoHS the money will be focused on education, with plans to coach teachers, and to provide badly needed improvements in educational tools such as IT labs and psychological support of students.
The charity, which advocates for and supports the Christian Community in Israel and Palestine, is hoping to raise £100,000 to strengthen the education system in the region and assist often under-resourced Christian schools.
Anita Delhaas, chief executive of ICoHS says: ““At Christmas time we often share sentimental stories and idyllic scenes with shepherds watching their flocks and wise men bringing gifts from afar. However, the reality facing the Christian community, 2,000 years later is certainly not sentimental and far from idyllic. The community today is fighting off economic ruin and finds itself in the middle of many difficult and complex political realities.”
The appeal follows the recent publication of a major report produced by ICoHS and the University of Birmingham for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Christianity in the Holy Land. The report pointed to the substantial and under-acknowledged contributions of the region’s Christian community, which is out of all proportion to the existing size of its population. Despite falling numbers, Christians in the Holy Land continue to generate over $3bn annually for Israel’s economy through pilgrimage and tourism, deliver 30 per cent of education and health services and provide substantial welfare and humanitarian support to the most vulnerable individuals and families.
Delhaas said: “The Christian community is fighting off economic ruin and finds itself in the middle of many difficult and complex political realities. The confluence of economic challenges, social issues and religious tensions mean that many are leaving the Holy Land and the Christian population is continuing to dwindle
“We hope that people everywhere will join our campaign and provide a special present for the children and families in the Holy Land, this Christmas.”
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