Restoring iconography in the Holy Land.
We are an independent Christian organisation under the patronage of the Greek Catholic Melkite Patriarchate in Jerusalem and registered as a non-profit company with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Rooted within the Tradition of Eastern Christianity it is open to Christians of all backgrounds, both east and west, indeed to anyone attracted to look deeper into this mystical art which came to birth in the Holy Land over 1,500 years ago.
The Bethlehem Icon Centre, which is home to its Icon School and its Icon Workshop, is based in Bethlehem, the city of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is dedicated to the renewal of iconography as a living part of the spiritual landscape of the Holy Land through a commitment to the the highest standards of sacred liturgical art.
By restoring an essential element of their ancient culture it seeks to renew the dwindling Christian population of the city and of the region. It is the only project of its kind in the Middle East.
Through a process of integration into a living Christian environment, students are formed in the ancient practice of icon painting. The workshop offers the opportunity for graduates of the School to make a living as professional iconographers protected from the corrosion of the business world and encouraged by a model of collaborative working.
It also seeks to serve the wider community through offering opportunities for individuals from around the world, Christian or not, to study iconography in the unique spiritual environment of Bethlehem, the City of Christ’s birth where God first looked upon humanity through human eyes, and where, through the eyes of the Most Holy Theotokos, humanity looked upon the face of God and lived.
His Beatitude Youssef I. Absi,
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church