For decades, Palestine has experienced political and military upheaval. Israeli and Palestinian forces have warred over contested pieces of land. Political factions have risen and fallen. And Christianity remains a small minority religion among the people—just one to three percent of the population identifies as Christian.
With support from American Bible Society’s financial partners, Palestinian Bible Society is advocating for the hope of God’s Word in the thick of this complex context. Through innovative Bible programs that take place alongside humanitarian efforts, Christians and non-Christians alike bear witness to the hope and love found in God’s Word.
Bible Distribution: One to three percent of the population in Palestine identifies as Christian. Among the small Christian population, there are multiple theological traditions, such as the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic traditions. In this religious context, Palestinian Bible Society seeks to advocate for and contextualize the Scriptures so that Palestinian people engage with God’s Word on a daily basis.
Children: In Palestine, 53 percent of the population is under the age of 18. This large population of Palestinian youth is exposed to much civil and military unrest, particularly in Gaza and West Bank. Negative attitudes and hopelessness are prevalent among Palestinian youth. Palestinian Bible Society aims to reach these children with the Bible’s message of hope and love, helping them experience the innocence and joy of childhood in a tumultuous social environment.
Relief Work: High unemployment has led to widespread poverty for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. For example, the unemployment rate in Gaza Strip hovers around 25 percent. The recent war in Gaza has left many families in need of food, shelter, first aid and spiritual encouragement.
Bible Distribution: To make the Bible available to Palestinians, Palestinian Bible Society operates community centers in Jenin and Bir Zet. With support from American Bible Society’s generous financial partners, these centers encourage people to engage with the Word of God through seminars, youth activities, women’s groups and programs for local university students.
Palestinian Bible Society also seeks to strengthen the local church by producing Bible-based TV and radio programs. Whether it’s through the airwaves or in the context of local community, partners in Palestine are making the Bible available and understandable to those who are seeking knowledge of the Christian faith.
Children: With support from American Bible Society’s generous financial partners, Palestinian Bible Society reaches out to Palestinian children and youth through a Bible-based children’s program. The program, which includes days trips, conferences, camps and puppet shows, communicates Christian values about how to deal with feelings of insecurity and hopelessness. The Bible Society also organizes special events for Christmas, Easter and summertime. Gifts and Bible resources are distributed to the children, communicating that God loves them even in the midst of great upheaval.
Relief Work: For many years, Palestinian Bible Society has provided humanitarian aid to those who are suffering from religious persecution and economic distress. The humanitarian objectives of the Bible Society include:
- Providing Scriptures for Christian families and others who seek it.
- Providing food for those who are hungry.
- Providing medicine and aid for the sick and wounded.
- Distributing blankets and sleeping bags to displaced people who have lost their homes.
- Giving toys to children to soothe their fear and trauma.
- Giving hygiene kits to displaced people.
With financial support from American Bible Society’s partners, these efforts help strengthen the credibility of the Bible Society within Palestine’s Christian communities while simultaneously building bridges of trust and mutual understanding with Muslim neighbors.