Al-Khader Church

The Al-Khader church is a Palestinian town in the Bethlehem Governorate in the south-central West Bank. It is located 5 kilometers west of Bethlehem.  The area around al-Khader is marked by vineyards, and olive and fig trees. The site of al-Khader was first inhabited by the Canaanites. In 1953, five arrowheads of javelins dating from the 11th century BCE, were discovered in al-Khader with Canaanite inscriptions. Map.

Al-Khader Church
Al-Khader Church

The translations were “dart of ‘Abd Labi’t”. Al-Khader is named after Saint George who in Arab culture is known as “al-Khadr.”

Al-Khader Church
Al-Khader Church

According to local tradition, Saint George was imprisoned in the town of al-Khader where the current Monastery of St. George stands. The chains holding him were relics that were said to hold healing power.

Al-Khader Church
Al-Khader Church

This tradition of St. George’s imprisonment was dated to at most the 15th-century. In 1442 the Monastery of St. George was mentioned by Western traveler John Poloner as situated on a hill near Bethlehem.

Al-Khader Church
Al-Khader Church

During late Ottoman rule (1516-1917), al-Khader was part of the political-administrative sheikdom and nahiyah (“subdistrict”) of Bani Hasan, which was ruled by the Absiyeh family of al-Walaja. In 1838 its inhabitants were classified as Muslims by the English scholars Edward Robinson and Eli Smith.

Victor Guérin visited in 1863. In the late 19th century al-Khader was described by the Palestine Exploration Fund’s Survey of Western Palestine as a moderate-sized village with a “Greek church and convent.” It was surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and “rock-cut tombs” were situated to the north of the village.

Please leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.