PA want Bethlehem recognized as 'Palestinian' heritage sitePDFPrintE-mail
Written by Chris Perver  
Thursday, 14 June 2012 19:48

The Palestinian Authority is pressing ahead with a bid that would see Bethlehem, the birth-place of the Lord Jesus Christ, recognized as a 'Palestinian' heritage site. This follows the Palestinian Authority's acceptance into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) late last year. The body is planning to meet in Russia at the end of the month to discuss recognizing Bethlehem and the Dead Sea as World Heritage Sites.

Quote: “Paris-based UNESCO said last week that its World Heritage Committee would consider the church in Bethlehem for inclusion on the prestigious list during its next meeting from June 24 to July 6 in Saint Petersburg. The full site to be listed would be the “Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem,” UNESCO said, noting that it would be the first such site in the occupied Palestinian territories.

There is no doubt that the move, to have Bethlehem recognized as an official 'Palestinian' site of cultural significance, is a purely political one. It is designed to cause maximum embarrassment to the state of Israel and to arouse popular support for the 'Palestinian cause' among nominal Christians the world over. It has little to do with preserving a site of historic interest, and more to do with eradicating any vestige Jewish history in the land and building the case for the establishment of a Palestinian state. As Palestinian chief negotiator remarked on the issue,“One of the most significant sites of universal importance to humanity is the Old Town of Bethlehem and the birthplace of Jesus. Palestinians long to share our patrimony with the world”. Ironically the very fact that the Palestinian Authority is seeking to have Bethlehem recognized as a Palestinian heritage site is proof that they actually have no historic or religious claim to the land at all. For Bethlehem is historically a very Jewish town. It is referred to as 'Bethlehem of Judah' in the Bible, linking it with the tribe of Israel. Its Hebrew name means 'House of bread'. Jacob's wife Rachel is buried here (Genesis 35:19). King David was born here (1st Samuel 16:1). And of course the Messiah was prophesied to come out of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). And the Scriptures record how that Jesus was indeed born in the town of Bethlehem, the city of David (Luke 2:11).

But it doesn't look like things will go well for this summit. UNESCO, and the United Nations in general, have a habit of making decisions based on political rather than historical or cultural realities. They recently denied Israel's bid to have the tomb of the Patriarchs recognized as a World Heritage Site because it lay within the territories captured during the Six Day War. They voted to have Rachel's Tomb recognized as an Islamic mosque. And of course they accepted 'Palestine' as the 195th member state, even though they have not been afforded the status of a state by the UN Security Council.

Praise God that as Christians, we do not depend upon world recognition of a particular site to prove the reality of our faith. Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful to be able to visit the places where we know the Lord Jesus Christ has walked, and to see where He will walk again. And I have been in Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. But we have something much greater than that. We have the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. And when you have Him, you have everything.

Do you know Jesus? I mean, you may know about Him, but do you know Him? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Or like these Arab Muslims, are you depending on a knowledge about Jesus for salvation, rather than depending on the Lord Jesus Christ Himself? Salvation is not found in religion. It is not found in knowing about Jesus. It is found in having a personal relationship with Him. It says in John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”. Why don't you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour today.

Source Al Arabiya