Journey to Bethlehem/Journey to Jerusalem brings Christian children from Palestine, Jordan, and Israel to Bethlehem during Advent and Christmas and to Jerusalem during Lent and Easter. Over the course of several years, HCEF has overcome the obstacles of the Israeli checkpoints and the Separation Wall to bring thousands of children on a pilgrimage to the holy sites in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
For most of the children, the Journey is their first visit to Bethlehem or Jerusalem even though they may live only a few miles away. The permits and closures deny them access unless they come through the sponsorship of a group like HCEF.
The Journey is ecumenical, and it connects children from diverse communities in the region. It helps to connect the Christian youth to each other and to their Christian heritage. It encourages the younger generation to become ambassadors of Christ’s peace in a land that cries out daily for an end to violence.
Over the years, sponsors of the Journey to Bethlehem have included the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem; the Pontifical Mission for Palestine; the Custody of the Holy Land (Franciscan); The National Christian Association; the Sahhar Firm, CPA; Caritas Jerusalem; and other private donors with the help of churches and faith-based organizations in the United States.
Sir Rateb Rabie, HCEF President, expresses HCEF’s vision, “This Journey to Bethlehem is a message to everyone that the two people, Israelis and Palestinians, and the three faiths, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, should live in peace and harmony and that no obstacle should come between them.”
Click here to donate to Jouney to Bethlehem/ Journey to Jerusalem