Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foudnation

Organization Description: 

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by an ecumenical group of American Christians to preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land. It began as a collaboration between Mr. Rateb Y. Rabie, a Palestinian American Christian, and Father Emil Salayta, a Jordanian priest serving in Palestine. They believed that if American Christians were told of the desperate situation of the Christians in the Holy Land, American Christians would reach out to help. They were right.

Very quickly, highly respected individuals expressed an interest in serving on the Board of Directors and/or Advisory Board for HCEF. Father Emil also organized a Holy Land Coordinating Committee to set up and supervise HCEF's local projects. The two boards and the Holy Land Coordinating Committee are comprised of known, respected and active Holy Land community members (both lay and clergy) from the three Christian traditions -- Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant.

HCEF serves all of the Christian denominations within the Diocese of Jerusalem in Palestine, Jordan, and Israel.Soon after HCEF was formed, it became apparent that the foundation would need local representatives in American cities where the foundation's work was taking root. As a result, the Holy Land Christian Support Network (HCSN) was formed.

6935 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20815
Mission Statement: 

HCEF is committed to the continued presence, empowerment, and well-being of Arab Christians in the Holy Land and to developing the bonds of solidarity between them and Christians elsewhere.

Organizational Statement of Faith: 

It is a core belief of Christians that we are one mystical Body in Christ. We want all of our work to reflect that unity and to demonstrate that if any part of the body suffers, we all suffer. By the same belief, we also demonstrate that when one part of the body rejoices, we all rejoice. From the very beginning, HCEF was an ecumenical organization. There are multiple Christian denominations in the Holy Land, and our programs aim at supporting all of them. We encourage Palestinian Christians to be ecumenical in their outreach to Christians around the world, and we encourage HCEFs supporters to be ecumenical in their support and prayers as well. Because the Christian population of the Holy Land comprises less than 2% of the population, it is important that they build their support for one another on the Christian faith that they have in common.
We firmly believe that a just peace in the Holy Land is the only long-term solution to the tough living conditions that have brought almost all of the Christians to emigrate. We encourage the work of those who help to bridge the distance between the political factions that exacerbate the situation in the Holy Land.

Each person at HCEF seeks to be a servant leader following the example of Jesus Christ. We serve both the Christians in the Holy Land and our amazingly generous supporters around the world. We want each person who interacts with us to feel that we have given them our full attention, and we want each of our programs to reflect the importance of people-to-people connections.

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