At Star of Bethlehem, our purpose is to love God and support one another

Born in Bethlehem, the little town that gave birth to Christianity, we represent some of the Christian volunteers who were sent to the USA by the Bethlehem Catholic Mission. One of our goals is to display the wealth of craftsmanship from the region. The native religious carvings showcased here are handcrafted by artisans in Bethlehem.

Christians in Bethlehem are a minority now, the annual flood of pilgrims having been reduced to a trickle by the ongoing violence in the region. The local people, who once depended on tourism for their livelihood, are looking for new ways to keep their families rooted in the Holy Land. Fifty years ago, Christians made up 70 percent of Bethlehem's population; today, only about 15 percent.

Indeed, the Christian population of the entire West Bank -- mostly Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic, with Copts, Russian Orthodox, Armenians and others -- is dwindling. Town of Bethlehem is fast losing its last few year-round Christian residents.

Carving with olive wood is traditional work in Bethlehem, Christian families considering it a main source of income especially in these difficult times. Olive trees, also called the Peace Tree, produce the different kinds of olive wood that our handmade religious item are created from. Our items, ranging from olive wood rosaries to full Nativity sets, angels, Christmas ornaments, crosses, statues, the Holy Family are all made by the Catholic artisans in Bethlehem.

When you purchase our one of a kind, hand carved items; you are helping to keep this ancient tradition alive in the Holy Land!