Focus Towards Bethlehem

For several Christmases, The Ship Of Fools website have offered a seasonal rundown of the best religious gadgets in The 12 Days of Kitschmas. 

Here are some of the most popular items specifically about Christmas among them this nativity set seen left.

However among the more frivolous items, there is a gift with a more serious note...
The web authors describe it thus :
"A real humbugging Scrooge of a party pooper, pouring icy water on the true, hedonistic spirit of the season. We give you the Walled Nativity, a none too gentle reminder of the 230-mile, six-metre high wall, topped with barbed wire and lined with guard towers, that encircles Palestine – and Bethlehem. As its purveyors, the Amos Trust, say, with not a little understatement: "This is a nativity set with a difference. In 2007 the wise men won't get to the stable."

At £12 for the small version, and £50 for the large, church version, the Walled Nativity is made all the more poignant for being made by impoverished wood-carvers in the town where Jesus the carpenter was born."

Click here to order!

The Amos Trust website has an updated annual resource pack for Christmas with new reflections, prayers and facts about life in ‘the little town’ as well as links to video clips and music.

 The following is taken from the Amos website.

"By reading out a reflection written by Palestinian Christians living in Bethlehem or showing a video clip of images of modern Bethlehem in a Christmas services or carol concert, we are responding to the request of Palestinian Christians living under Israeli occupation not to be forgotten by us this Christmas. (This request was part of the Kairos call.)

If you want to make their stories the focus this year: click here for the free service pack and use it in a church service this Christmas.

Photos of the separation wall in Bethlehem are available to download via their Flickr site. (Please note these photos are to be used by churches and non-profit community groups only.)
Page 14 of the pack contains the links to video resources - here is the list of links for easy click-through:
This video is from Sami Awad from the Holy Land Trust's message for Christmas 2011

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, music video of a special version played on the Oud by Basel Zayed.

Little Town of Bethlehem - a new feature length documentary about modern Bethlehem. You can watch the trailer here, or buy the film here.

Oh Palestine music video of Garth Hewitt's song recorded by Reem Kelani. The track comes from the album 'Under the Influence' which you can buy from their shop.

Bethlehem Hidden from View - this 17 minute film with interviews from Christians in Bethlehem today is available to buy from their shop.

They've cancelled Christmas in Bethlehem song by Garth Hewitt. This video has had 67,000 hits on youtube with a basic slide show of modern Bethlehem.

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