More than 2,000 Christian children forced from their homes in Iraq and Syria by groups such as the Islamic State will have a real Christmas, one far better than their refugee parents are able to furnish for them.
But before we get to those final days in Bethlehem and Beit Sahour, the Christmas for Refugees program must be fully funded a full month before Thanksgiving. By the end of October, only $33,682 of the $97,225 matching challenge had been met.
Last year for the first time, the Christmas programs were extended to the few areas of the “West Bank” that are still Christian. In 1948 when the State of Israel came into existence, the “West Bank” was 86% Christian. Now it is 2% Christian. The Christian community is no longer self-sustaining and as a result is a persecuted minority.
Christmas for Refugees began holding events at an orphanage in Nigeria in 2017. Christians are persecuted in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world. Find out why our Christmas for Refugees events are so important!
“I have seen the Christian civilization of the “West Bank” collapse and be replaced by those who hate Christians and work to steal what is left of their land. No matter what, we must continue the Christmas program in the “West Bank” which includes Bethlehem.”
Most of the children were either orphans or internally displaced children who had undergone all kinds of trauma. It had been quite some time since these children had access to such a nice, warm and healthy meal. One thing that really stood out from the first event was the very evident joy on the faces of all ages, regardless of the tragedies they had endured.
A number of Christmas for Refugees events were held in Jordan this year. At one of the Christmas parties, every single one of the children present was from Iraq. In Qaraqosh the party lasted almost four hours, with different types of entertainment and of course all pointing to the real reason for Christmas, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christian population in Bethlehem is no longer self-sustaining. It is with that understanding that Christmas for Refugees agreed to hold a Christmas party for 800 Christian children still living in the Bethlehem and Beit Sahour area, to bring some joy to the shrinking Christian population. Read more about our journey to the Holy Land.
The first Christmas for Refugees Christmas party was held on December 14 in Qaraqosh and had 546 children in attendance. In all, more than 1,500 children attended the three events held this year in Iraq. Every event was centered on Jesus, from coloring contests to puppet shows.
Children dance and sing praises about how “God is the creator of everything” in Marka, Jordan.