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Living in the location of God’s incarnation, contextual and incarnational theology is an inseparable part of the lives of Christians in Bethlehem. Shaped by this, the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem has long sought to empower local expressions of the gospel – in theology, in culture, in community, and in education.
There has been a continuous worship life in the sanctuary of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem since 1893. Each Sunday worshippers from Bethlehem and around the world gather for worship in the sanctuary.
As visiting worshippers gaze at the stained glass windows present throughout the sanctuary, they are likely unaware of how lucky they are to see them all intact. In fact, the stained glass windows, from the Emperor Stained Glass Factory in Germany, are the only windows made by this factory in this style to survive in total.
It is even more amazing that these windows have all remained intact, due to the fact that the church suffered damage in both 1967 and in 2002. In 1967 the roof and ceiling of the sanctuary were damaged by a bomb. Then again, in 2002, the church was in the middle of fierce Israeli shooting and bombing.
The church was built in 1894 and is located in a prominent spot on the main street of Beit Jala. The date of the founding of the Protestant mission in Beit Jala is said to be in 1845 and their first building was a school, constructed in 1866.
The church has also recently built a guest house for visitors.
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