Why we've changed our name
From BibleLands to Embrace the Middle East
We all acknowledge that the name BibleLands has worked very well for us in recent years. But as a charity we have struggled to attract new supporters, and trustees were unanimous in their view that we had to remedy this if we were to secure our future for the next 158 years and continue our work of blessing and enabling Christian social ministry in the Middle East.
Our detailed researches showed that our previous name conjured up an old-fashioned image and led people to believe that we distributed Bibles or were an overtly evangelistic charity. Indeed, we were often confused with the Bible Society. While all of us at Embrace believe in the importance of the word of God and its dissemination, distribution of Bibles is not part of our charitable purpose, and therefore not something we do.
We did consult many existing supporters about the new name, and while some said they preferred us to keep BibleLands if possible, all of them understood the need for change, the need for our charity to move with the times and to reach out to new generations of donors, so that our ministry in the Middle East could be even more effective.
We chose Embrace the Middle East because it described where we worked and we felt it reflected our Christian calling to welcome the stranger, feed the hungry and help the homeless (Matthew 25), and that the cross at the centre of our new logo emphasised our confidence as a Christian charity. We also felt that embrace was a very Biblical concept, one that invoked the inclusiveness that goes to the very heart of the Gospel. One paraphrase translation of Jesus’ comments in Mark 9:37 reads: "Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me - God who sent me."
Trustees took this bold but necessary decision after much prayerful reflection. They were convinced that, while many of our existing supporters were very attached to BibleLands, they would stay with Embrace the Middle East on the basis that our ministry since 1854 of Christian care and compassion in the lands of the Bible was definitely not changing.