Why 14 reasons? The Bethlehem Museum takes its design theme from the 14 Stations of the Cross (Via Dolorosa), the tortuous journey that was transformedinto an eternal promise of peace and justice. Many people today face hard journeys as well – none more difficult than the Palestinians who now live in occupied Palestine. The museum acknowledges their struggles and actively seeks to build bridges of understanding between the diverse cultures of the Holy Land. The theme of 14 helps to connect Western pilgrims and their faith with the Palestinian presence through the Christian heritage and culture. In keeping with the theme, here are the 14 reasons why you should become a part of this mission!
FOURTEEN UNIQUE REASONS TO SUPPORT BETHLEHEM MUSEUM
- The museum is situated over a Roman aqueduct built by Pontius Pilate during the era that spanned Jesus’ ministry, crucifixion and resurrection. This aqueduct brought life-giving water from Hebron to the city of Jerusalem in those ancient times.
- The Bethlehem Museum is the first Palestinian initiative to document the contributions Arab Palestinian Christians – those “living stones” who are the descendants of the first followers of Jesus Christ – made to Palestine, then and now. Featuring the historical and geographic origins of Christianity and Arab Palestinians in the Holy Land.
- The museum puts a face to the Church of the Nativity by introducing visitors to the individuals responsible for the existence and continuation of the Nativity – the Palestinians of the Holy Land. They are the ones who have preserved the continuity of Christian roots in the Holy Land.
- Bethlehem Museum is a vehicle for returning the treasures of Palestine which have been scattered across the world after each catastrophe that has struck the Holy Land.
- Bethlehem Museum is one of the few museums in the world owned by women, the Arab Women’s Union.
- The museum empowers women by creating employment opportunities for them and highlighting their unique contributions to Palestinian culture and heritage.
- Families from Bethlehem and other parts of Palestine are honored and recognized for their contributions to their culture.
- Classic traditional artifacts of olive wood, mother-of-pearl, and embroidery show Christians’ influence on greater Palestine and the role they play in society.
- The work of contemporary Palestinian artists is also encouraged and displayed in the museum’s art gallery.
- A unique floor plan, patterned after the 14 Stations of the Cross (“Via Dolorosa”) in Jerusalem which represents the Palestinian’s history intertwined with Christianity.
- Bethlehem Museum supports disfranchised and vulnerable social groups by selling the products of charities like Ma’an Lil-Hayat L’Arche Bethlehemand Al-Malath Charitable Society in its gift shop. These charities support those with intellectual and physical disabilities.
- Bethlehem Museum highlights The Know Thy Heritage Leadership Program, a program of HCEF, which connects the diaspora with its heritage and culture by sponsoring their journeys back to Palestine. Thus enabling them to reconnect with the land of their ancestry and empowering young Palestinians in the diaspora worldwide.
- Palestinian Surprises – an inspiring account of the achievements of Palestinians from all walks of life in the diaspora – provide moving testimony to their contributions within their new communities around the world.
- Bethlehem Museum promotes peace, understanding and coexistence between Christians, Muslims and Jews by showing how these three faiths coexisted in the Holy Land for centuries and can do so again.