A voice cries out from Bethlehem

Bishop Alan has written to parishes to publicise the launch of a Christmas song from Friends of the Holy Land, through which the charity hopes to raise funds to aid Christians suffering in Gaza and the West Bank. The song has been endorsed by Pope Francis, who hopes that ‘Hear Angels Cry’ will “inspire many people this Christmas to pray for a new flourishing of fraternal solidarity, reconciliation and peace in the Holy Land”.

Friends of the Holy Land write:

Bethlehem was a sombre and sober place this Christmas with no festivities or celebrations due to the thousands killed in the current war. Amidst the fear and despair comes a cry of hope. In ‘Hear Angels Cry’, a poignant voice rises to declare that the light of hope will persist in the small West Bank town where the Christmas story unfolded.

Youstina Safar, a resident of Bethlehem and a student at Bethlehem University, has collaborated with the London-based band Ooberfuse to deliver a powerful message through this Christmas song. The song resonates with the belief that hope for a better future, born in the hearts of humanity, remains resilient in the face of aggression.

Youstina says: “In the midst of despair, our song ‘Hear Angels Cry’ stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of hope in Bethlehem.”

Cherrie Anderson, a member of Oooberfuse, comments: “As we embarked on this music project in June, we never anticipated the cancellation of Christmas displays in Bethlehem. The dimming lights in Manger Square honour those who tragically lost their lives in the Holy Land. ‘Hear Angels Cry’ embodies Jesus’ message of love, prevailing even in the face of hopelessness. All proceeds from the song will directly benefit those suffering in Gaza, particularly the children reconstructing the fragments of their lives.”

As a partner in this project, John Handal, the music producer from Bethlehem and the owner of RJ Music company, has played a crucial role in bringing this collaboration to life. His commitment to the project reflects a shared vision of using music as a beacon of hope and healing in the region.

He says: “It’s an honour to be part of a project that transcends borders and brings together artists from Bethlehem and London. ‘Hear Angels Cry’ is a testament to the enduring power of music to convey messages of peace and resilience. Through our collaboration, we aim to shine a light on the indomitable spirit of Bethlehem and support those affected by the conflicts in the Holy Land.”

‘Hear Angels Cry’ is not just a song but a heartfelt plea for unity, compassion, and the enduring power of hope, even in the most challenging circumstances. The world is invited to join in this message of solidarity and support for those affected by the ongoing struggles in the Holy Land.

Proceeds from the song will go to Friends of the Holy Land, a UK charity which is also registered in Palestine. Through its office in Bethlehem, it is well-placed to get urgent, personalised aid to the families most in need in Gaza and the West Bank.

The message of Christ has been a light, both spiritually and practically through the work of so many Christian institutions in the region for thousands of years. These communities and institutions follow Jesus where he walked and love their neighbours by providing hospitals, quality schools, universities and social care in the Palestinian territories. We can’t let that light go out in our generation.

Watch on Youtube now: https://bit.ly/418x6lF
Stream on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/46JOQVo
Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GuduPo
Stream on Apple Music: https://apple.co/46Ik9jk

Friends of the Holy Land benefits in a small way from each download and stream/watch from the international platforms carrying the song but the charity is also asking people to promote the song to friends and family, parishes and schools so that it gets noticed by the wider public. The song can be watched on YouTube, listened to and shared free of charge on the other sites; the cost to buy as a download is minimal, around £1.

All monies donated by downloads and streams will help bring relief to Christians in Gaza and the West Bank. Please visit Friends of the Holy Land to donate direct.