“Islam says that we should treat the three major religions with tolerance and acceptance. We believe in Jesus and we also believe in one almighty God.” Muslima, 35, Dheisheh Refugee Camp
Palestine is the birthplace of three major religions. For some, this land is one of the most important in the world. The churches, mosques and synagogues are a constant presence and religion is a constant guide. Jerusalem, central to these religions is also the center of the Middle East conflict.
Christians revere the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the place where Jesus was both crucified and resurrected.
The Dome of the Rock is one of the oldest sacred monuments and one of the most holy to Islam as the place where Mohammed entered paradise.
The Wailing Wall, which is an important Jewish place of worship, is found just behind it.
Every part of Palestine has religious significance. Every place filled with history and prayers. Today only a small part of Palestine is dedicated to Christianity. Bethlehem remains an important place for many pilgrims and believers of the three major religions. However, Muslims solely inhabit the refugee camps here. The church financially supports Christian refugees. They take refuge in the cities of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, which are together with Bethlehem the stronghold of Christians.
In many cities and villages Christians and Muslims live closely, side by side. In Bethlehem, there is a mosque only meters from the Church of Nativity of Christ. This showcases the closeness of the religions. Here, Christians do not consume alcohol in public and short skirts are worn only by tourists.
Synagogues can hardly be found in Palestine today due to the conflict with Israel. The few Palestinian Jews now live mainly in Israel. Radicals on both sides are provoking the people. For many Palestinians family and religion are the most important values.