There are many factors making it hard for Christians to live in the Holy Land. The economic and political situation in the region has left Christians with little opportunity to make a living and access goods and services. As a result, Christian families have been steadily leaving the Holy Land. Today, the number of Christians varies from 1.5 to four percent of the area’s population and continues to decline.
Christian artisans have thrived for centuries in the Holy Land, however, they now must rely on marketplaces outside the region to sell their products, preserve centuries-old craft and design traditions, and support their families.
The Holy Land Gift Shop at the Franciscan Monastery:
- Features the products made by these Christians in the Holy Land, helping them live and thrive in the region. All of the artisans are fairly compensated for their work.
- Makes it possible for people to purchase authentic products from the Holy Land without traveling, such as those made from olive wood and mother-of-pearl.
- Connects people to the lives of Holy Land Christians by sharing their unique stories – the many challenges they face and the rich history they have in the region.
How do I know a product is made in the Holy Land?
There are many products online claiming to be genuine olive wood and mother-of-pearl products, which look very similar to those made in the Holy Land. Here are a few ways you will be able to tell if they are genuine Holy Land items:
- Turn the product over. If it was made outside of the Holy Land, you will probably see a stamp that says, for example, “Made in China,” stating whichever country the product was made.
- Does it have a certificate of authenticity? Many Holy Land products, but not all, come with a certificate of authenticity stating where it originated and by whom it was made.
- If it comes from the Holy Land Gift Shop, you can be sure it was made in the Holy Land. We travel to the Holy Land to buy the products straight from the artisans. There is no middle-man.