The indigenous Christian community in the Middle East has stood as an unbroken and enduring witness in the land of Christ’s life and ministry for 2,000 years. However, the Church in the Holy Land - the cradle of our faith - is now in danger of dying out as Christians continue to flee conflict, oppression, and other hardships.

The OSJ encourages Christians in their efforts to stand in active solidarity with Christian communities in the Middle East as they face the challenge of maintaining a faithful Christian presence in increasingly volatile environments and of witnessing to the gospel of grace, justice, and peace.

In just a few short generations, the number of Christians has plummeted by as much as 90 percent in certain areas, with the greatest decline taking place in Iraq and Israel/Palestine. Considerable levels of conflict, as well as other social, political, and economic pressures, have resulted in persecution, death, and other hardships, forcing these Christians to flee their homelands.

The hardships of different Christian communities vary widely: Jordan and Lebanon, for example, are countries of relative freedom for Christians, while the Church in Bethlehem may not survive another two generations. Yet in all cases, many of the difficulties faced by our brothers and sisters in the Middle East are rooted in systemic injustices, as those in power have failed to protect the rights and freedoms of this vulnerable minority.

Let us respond faithfully to the challenges and opportunities that the cradle of our faith provides. We ask that you join us in standing in solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East through prayer and advocacy, guided by resources found in these pages.