Christmas in Bethlehem 2012: Arab Christians Share Food Baskets and Toys in Gaza Strip
by Bill Bray Arab Christians, caught in the crossfire between Zionists and Jihadists, are rejoicing and reaching out in love to their neighbors in the Gaza Strip and throughout the war-torn Middle East. It's Christmas Eve in Bethlehem!
By Bill Bray, Special Correspondent
BETHLEHEM, Gaza Strip, December 24, 2012 – While Christian pilgrims and tourists are streaming here from all over the world to visit the birthplace of Jesus Christ and worship at the Church of the Nativity today, local Arab Christians will again be quietly going door to door this year, sharing food baskets and toys with their most needy neighbors.
The aid is being made possible by Christian Aid Mission based in Charlottesville, Virginia and comes from Christians all over the United States.
Similar scenes will be repeated in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt where many public celebrations of the birth of Christ have been canceled or are more subdued, sober and downsized than here in Bethlehem.
As tolerance for Christians and other minorities fades in the wake of growing Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda violence, many of the Christmas pageants and children’s programs have been cancelled. In some places, the usual decorations have been stowed away as Christians hide for safety from their Muslim neighbors.
Yet over 1000 gathered last week from all over the West Bank in Shepherd’s Fields of Beit Sahoir, one mile south of Bethlehem, for a Christmas Banquet sponsored with a grant from friends of Christian Aid Mission in Charlottesville, Virginia – and 200 came forward to receive Jesus Christ as savior when Arab evangelist Victor Hashweh gave an invitation.