Eastern Denominations Mark Christmas in Bethlehem

Despite the cold weather and preparation for a snowstorm expected to affect Palestine Tuesday evening, Christians welcomed their archbishops and patriarchs to mark Christmas Eve in the Orthodox calendar on Tuesday.

Beginning early in the morning, dozens of scout troops from across the West Bank marched through the city beating their drums and playing bagpipes.

The Syrian Orthodox archbishop, Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Coptic Orthodox archbishop and Ethiopian Orthodox archbishop arrived at the Manger Square one after another.

Director of Bethlehem police Alaa Shalabi told Ma’an that all units and other security services were put on alert from the early morning during this “national occasion,” which is precious both to Muslims and Christians.

He added that Manger Square was divided into several parts using barricades.

In addition, all side streets leading to the square have been closed to traffic excluding security vehicles and some vehicles which have been granted special permits.

(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)

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