I was born across the street from where Jesus was born. Literally.

One of my great, great, great grandmas probably babysat for Jesus. 🙂

I know you probably think the bible was written in the Bible Belt, but the Bible has a stamp on it that says “Made in Palestine… It is our most successful export.

Jesus didn’t start a political party… He didn’t go to Rome to free his people from Roman occupation, like Moses went to Pharaoh.

Jesus said, “Blesseed are the peace makers, not the peace talkers.

Politics is taking care of the polis: the town. Preaching, teaching and healing.

Jesus lived under occupation. We live under occupation in Bethlehem today. We are surrounded on 3 sides by 25 foot walls. Israel controls our resources. Our water, our land, our oil.

We got a vision in 1995 for a ministry. We are now the third largest private employer in Bethlehem. We have created the first Lutheran University in the Middle East. We are continuing Jesus’ ministry of teaching.

Only 2% of the people in Palestine are Christian. Many have left because of the occupation. We are there to make sure that Christianity in Palestine does not just survive, but thrive. Palestine still needs the ministry of Jesus. His preaching, teaching and healing.

— Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran in Bethlehem.