Creating the Bethlehem Museum for Heritage and Culture is a natural outreach program for the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF). Connecting the past with the present reinforces strong ties to the land.
(HCEF) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable organization registered with USAID PVO. Committed to replacing despair with hope, fear with security and humiliation with dignity, and with more than 16 programs created to support job creation and build cultural heritage awareness, HCEF focuses on people and their well-being.
Bethlehem, the city where Jesus was born, is the birthplace of Christianity. Its descendants are the first followers of Christ. Throughout the years, millions of people have come to Bethlehem, predominantly to visit the Church of the Nativity, as it is the site of Jesus’ birth. Three thousand years before the birth of Christ, Bethlehem was already known as a Canaanite land. Canaanite tribes, who lived in historic Palestine, built small cities surrounded by walls for protection against the attacks of raiders.
Throughout its existence, Bethlehem has experienced and withstood numerous empires, such as the Canaanite, Israelite and Judean, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic and Crusader, Ottoman, British mandate, and currently, the Israeli occupations.
Bethlehem Museum will be dedicated to the cultures of the Palestinian civilization and will reflect the history and culture of Palestinians and Palestinian Christians, with a major emphasis on the people-to- people aspect. HCEF endeavors to connect Americans and other societies, Christians, Palestinians at large, and Palestinians in Diaspora in accordance with the mission of HCEF. Programs like the Living Stones Pilgrimages (LSP) and the Know Thy Heritage Program (KTH)encourage these connections, tourism, and extended visits to Bethlehem.