Work of American Denominations

Palestinian workshop
Palestinian workshop

Generally speaking American  denominations have not tried to start new churches in the Christian Holy Land. Instead they have respected the Churches that are there and have supported them by starting institutions – educational, social service, hospitals, etc. American Catholics continue their support through Caritas, Catholic Relief Services, and the Latin Catholic Church in the West Bank and Israel. There are also Orthodox-founded institutions such as Bint al Balad inside New Gate on Freres St. 

American Christian Denomination
Wi’am Center in Bethlehem

With most Protestants there is a comity agreement that encourages American denominations not to work in the same countries as other denominations. So, they divided up the counties and gave precedence to one denomination. They look at the Church as the Body of Christ with all belonging to the same Body, no matter where they are located. Instead of starting new churches they work to strengthen the indigenous churches.

Atfaluna Society for Deaf ChildrenThe Evangelical Lutheran Church in America works closely with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land in The West Bank, Israel and Jordan. The American Episcopal Church works with the British-founded Anglicans in the area. Baptist Churches in the USA ally with various Baptist Churches in the Christian Holy Land. The Mormons support a university on the Mount of Olives.

You should check with your own denomination to see which places they are supporting and would encourage you to visit. Some good Protestant-founded institutions to visit are:

  • Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives
  • Rawdat al Zahur, a school for Palestinian children in Jerusalem
  • Quaker schools in Ramallah
  • Hope Secondary School in Beit Jala