Bethlehem Coronavirus Shutdown Appeal
Why we need your help
The Palestinian Authority declared a state of emergency in the West Bank on Thursday 5th March as seven cases of coronavirus amongst Bethlehem residents were confirmed. This means the Church of the Nativity and other places of worship in Bethlehem are shut, all tourism and religious sites across the West Bank are closed and all tourists banned from the West Bank for an unspecified amount of time (currently 30 days).
The Israeli army, in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, is enforcing a closure on Bethlehem, banning Israelis and Palestinians from entering or leaving the city.
The impact on the Bethlehem economy is expected to be disastrous, especially in the lead up to Easter, one of the key tourism seasons for the city.
Tourism is Bethlehem's main industry. More than 30% of the working population is employed in the industry with many more reliant on visitors’ business in shops, cafes, taxis etc. Tourism accounts for approximately 65% of the city's economy with around 2 million visitors last year.
Employment conditions for most in the industry are fragile, people live hand to mouth with no safety net provided by the government through social support.
The impact of this shutdown is already having a devastating impact on the lives of most Christians in Bethlehem.
Please help us to mitigate the scale of the financial impact on Christains in Bethlehem by donating what you can.
If we raise more than is needed, the money will be used for general funds to help Christians in the Holy Land where there is most need.
raised so far
Spread the word