Our organization, The Handicraft Holy Land Christians, was created in 2014 by our founder, Sebastien Cardinal. His journey began one day in Montreal at a special Mass. A guest speaker, who was from the Holy Land, gave a speech that reached that Sebastien’s heart. The speaker was a Christian-Palestinian man, born in Beith Sahour, close to east Bethlehem, place of one of many Christian communities in the Holy Land.
After this Celebration, Sebastien thought about what he could do to help the Christian people caught in the middle of this conflict. How could he make a real difference in their lives? After an hour of discussion with the guest speaker, the idea of visiting different churches across the country came to Sebastien. He wanted to inform Canadian Christians of the situation happening in the Holy Land, so as to better help its inhabitants in the future.
Sebastien discovered that many Christians of the Holy Land earned a living by making beautiful hand carved items out of Olivewood. He saw an opportunity to make available these items to Canadian Christians. In doing so, helping people of the Holy land keep their jobs and homes. This also offered a unique opportunity for Canadians to have a piece of the Holy Land in their homes.
The purpose of our group is to help our brothers and sisters who are living in the Holy Land.
The work we do has already given these people the faith and courage to stay.
Through our efforts and theirs they are now capable of supporting themselves and helping their families.
In addition, the work we have done with the members of this community created new opportunities.
We also reached several community programs, including schools and assisted living homes, thus educating many people in the process.
We will continue to believe in our mission. Together, let's help the Christians of the Holy Land. Let's help them remain in their homes where they can keep practicing their craft and perpetrate our religious heritage and legacy.
Ten reasons to support the Indigenous Christians of the Holy Land
1. The indigenous Arab Christians are descendants of the first faithful. They trace their roots back to who first heard and embraced the powerful, transforming message of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:11). 2. They continue to live out the faith in the very land where our Savior was born and lived, died, and rose from the dead. Their presence amongst a population increasingly non-Christian in orientation maintains the 2000-year-old Christian heritage of the Holy Land. 3. They help ensure that churches and holy sites remain places of Christian worship. Without the indigenous Arab Christian presence in the Holy Land, these places would turn into cold museums, devoid of the warmth of the living body of Christ. 4. They ensure that the younger generation is raised in Christ. The primary means by which youth learn the teachings of Christ and the Church is through a solid education in the Holy Land‘s Christian schools. As the first means of apostolate, the schools also offer Christians a place in which to interact with each other. 5. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Even though we have many different gifts and calls, we are united by the one Spirit that is given to all. 6. Our shared Christian faith will be grow deeper. As our eyes are opened to other cultures, perspectives, and new ways of worshiping the same Lord, our shared Christian faith is deepened. We learn to experience Christ in new ways, and spread the good word of Christ to others. 7. Christian Arabs are a bridge to peace for a troubled region. They share the Old Testament with Jews and share the same culture, language, history, and national aspirations as Muslims. They bridge the distance between those mired in the political conflict in the Holy Land and offer hope for peaceful resolution. 8. They are suffering. Living conditions in the Holy Land are dire as a result of border closures that restrict freedom of movement and curfews that confine civilians to their homes. Few can travel to work, find adequate medical care, or afford housing. 9. Emigration from the Holy Land is on the rise. Young adults have increasingly dim prospects for the future so many are leaving the Holy Land. This further reduces their minority status. 10. Our religion calls us to help those in need. Jesus ministered to the needs of the poor, the afflicted, and the oppressed. He calls us to do the same. It is our duty as Christians to help sustain our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Holy Land. Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation www.hcef.org