Bethlehem Bible College hosted a youth conference, held July 16 to 18 in Bethlehem, West Bank. The conference was called “Alkufiyyeh wa Alsaleeb”. The Kufiyyeh is the famous Palestinian scarf, a symbol of Palestinian identity and Alsaleeb is Arabic for the cross. Over 60 young Palestinian Christians came together for a time of lively discussion about Palestinian identity in conversation with Christian beliefs.

‘Young Palestinian Christians are facing many challenges – political and social. Many of them are beginning to feel that they do not belong here and that they have nothing to contribute to their societies’ said Dr. Munther Isaac, Christ at the Checkpoint Director, ‘Through this conference we want to respond to the needs of this important segment of the Christian community, and to encourage their participation in discussing the challenges of our society from a Christian perspective’.

This conference was organized by a committee of young Palestinian Christians. The following mission statement was drafted by them:

‘The mission of “Christ at the Checkpoint Young adults” is to motivate Palestinian Christian youth to take an active role as followers of Christ in spreading justice and peace, through discussing the challenges of our societies from a biblical perspective.’ 

The conference included lectures, drama shows, open discussions, workshops, small group discussions and bible studies.  Each day the participants also had an opportunity to praise and worship, and were introduced to a series of short videos created specifically for the conference. Furthermore, and since many of the participants came from outside Bethlehem area, the program included an educational field trip that illustrated an example where faith is put into social action.