The agreement of twin towns or sister cities Assisi-Bethlehem directly arises from the experience of Saint Francis. Many affirm that the twin towns were created when Francis first went to Bethlehem. Today the twin towns are very current topic since Bethlehem, a Palestinian city, is living through various painful wars and “to bring peace to where the Prince of Peace was born” is becoming a priority (op. cit. Municipal Council of 07/09/1991).
The twin towns both represent the agreement and understanding of the different towns, but also a sign for humanity, mainly because of the spiritual value that both towns embody. They are twin towns with an impressive ethical and religious meaning and a high symbolic sense.
Jesus Christ and Saint Francis have shown future generations the way for peace and brotherhood. Bethlehem and Assisi accordingly become symbolic towns, open to dialog and to civil confrontation.
The twin towns’ relationship is even stronger due to the fact that the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem is guarded by St Francis’s minor friars.