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FFHL Fact Sheet

2014 Fact Sheet in PDF


  • The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is a worldwide ecumenical Christian organization founded in 1994 under the auspices of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.  Formal support for the Foundation comes from Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches worldwide to preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land.
  • The purpose of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is to safeguard the basic human rights of the Christian Palestinian minority living in the Holy Land.  For these Christians trapped in a hostile environment of ethnic distrust, the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is the only organized voice.
  • Approximately 150,000 Christians remain in the Holy Land.  Because of severe political and economic hardships, an estimated 500-600 Christians leave the Holy Land each year, and it is possible that the Christian church may one day cease to exist in this part of the world.
  • As the Christian minority struggles to survive in the volatile political situation of the Middle East, the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land uses every available resource to help the poor and unemployed meet their human needs.  By conducting a public relations and communications campaign to tell the story of their suffering to a worldwide audience, the Foundation works to protect the fundamental right of Christian Palestinians to peace and equal opportunity in their homeland.
  • The initial goal of the Foundation is to raise $30 million in order to fund the following aid projects:
  • Create job opportunities for Christians by providing training and counseling for positions in schools, churches, parish centers and medical facilities.
  • Provide academic scholarships for talented but underprivileged Christian students.  As of December 2002, the Foundation has given over 60 scholarships and 4 educational grants amounting to $1,000,000.
  • Build 500 subsidized housing units in Bethphage, Jericho, Beit-Hanina, Nazareth and Bethlehem for Christian families at a cost of $100,000 per unit.


  • The politically motivated “closures” of the West Bank and Gaza to the remainder of Israel have a strong negative impact on the Palestinian economy.  Millions of dollars in revenue are lost every day within the West Bank and Gaza because Israel controls all the borders and prevents imports or exports from coming into or going out of these regions.
  • In 2010, unemployment among Palestinians, largely due to forced closures and travel restrictions enacted by the Israeli government, reached 70 percent in Gaza and 50 percent in the West Bank.
  • The average income for Israelis in the Holy Land is $25,000 - $26,000 per annum.
  • The average income for Palestinians in the Holy Land is $4,000- $6,000 per annum.
  • The majority of Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • Most of the Christians living in the Holy Land are of Palestinian descent.  Though they are blameless bystanders to the Moslem-Israeli conflict, Christian Palestinians are severely handicapped by the political side effects of aggression on both sides.  The fact that there are currently thousands of Christians in the Holy Land whose way of life is threatened is not commonly known in the United States and Western countries.
  • 65 percent of Palestinians live below the poverty level, i.e. under $3,000 per year which affects 2 out of 3 Palestinians of which 3 percent are Christian.
  • Currently, 50 percent of Palestinian men and 85 percent of Palestinian women are unemployed.


  • Israel received $9 billion in foreign aid in 2010 (Three billion in foreign aid and 6 billion in additional U.S. government assistance in public and private sectors). This total breaks down into $15.5 million per day, 365 days a year.
  • In 2010 the Palestinian Authority received international aid total in $2.1 billion. None of this aid reaches the outnumbered and previously unspoken-for Christian minority population.


    In 2010, 200,000 foreign workers replaced Palestinians who were kept from their places of employment by the strict city and border “closures.” Palestinian workers average 8-9 dependents.  The loss of employment for Palestinians, because of foreign immigrant workers, thereby affects approximately 1 million people.

The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is headquartered at:
Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy Street, NE, Washington, D.C.  20017 
Telephone: (866) 905-3787, Fax: (866) 905-3788

The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is a religious, private, tax-exempt, non-profit international humanitarian aid organization (pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code).

The public relations/development agency for the Foundation is: 

Tekton Ministries                                  
9924 Cedar Ridge Dr.
Carmel, In 46032 

Contact:  Richard J. Sontag Jr. 
Tel: (317) 574-4191
Fax: (317) 574-4195



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