BethlehemCrafts.net, was created for the purpose of helping Palestinian Christians in the Bethlehem Area by promoting and facilitating the sale and distribution of their products. The products range from Olive Wood carving, Mother of Pearl crafting and traditional clothing. The Palestinian Christians are caught in the midst of the horrible Israeli occupation of the Holy Land and the economic starvation of the Intifada against the occupation.
Olive wood handicrafts trade has evolved as a cultural tradition of the Palestinian Christians over many centuries. This indigenous art form has since become and industry of great importance to the local people of Bethlehem, many of whom rely on it for their livelihood.
Olive wood carvings are made from the branches of local olive trees which are pruned at the end of the olive-picking season. No olive trees are cut down to produce these items. In addition to the handmade quality of the item, the grain of the wood gives each piece a special character. The West Bank town of Beit-Sahour (location of the Shepherds Field) specialize in the production of olive wood handcraft.
Olive wood carving is an ancient art that can be traced back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Historical documents provided by the Christian pilgrims of that time show the beauty of olive wood rosaries and crucifixes and their popularity among pilgrims
Mother of Pearl carving is a tradition that can also be traced back to the early 17th century. It evolved as an art form along with olive wood when Franciscan monks came to the Holy Land. The monks trained the local Christian population in the carving of olive wood and mother of pearl rosaries, crucifixes and reproductions.
Bethlehem Crafts. net is in the process of applying for a non profit organization status in the United States of America, solely for the purpose of providing a helping hand to the Palestinian Christians who are becoming a rarity in the homeland of Jesus Christ and if we do not provide that kind of assistance, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth and all of the Holy Land will be empty of our Christian faith. Churches and Holy places will become "common market places" for the rest of the population. Christians are the endangered species in the Holy Land as it stands right now. Your Support is crucial.