Palestinians in Bethlehem Celebrate Christmas, Despite Covid Pandemic

Palestinian Christians celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem. (Photo: via Social Media)

While the Coronavirus pandemic put a damper on 2020 Christmas celebrations, traditional marching band parades rekindled this year’s Christmas spirit in Bethlehem, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Palestinian scout troops marched towards Manger Square banging drums and playing bagpipes and passing along the narrow cobble-stoned route, known as the Star Street, as they entertained local faithful who gathered at the square ahead of the expected arrival from of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Pierbattista Pizzaballa headed the annual procession from the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem to Manger Square, passing as usual through a massive metal gate in the towering Israeli concrete wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

He was welcomed at Manger Square by a host of officials and clergy ahead of the midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where Christian tradition says Jesus Christ was incarnated.

Palestinian Christians have been suffering as a result of Israel’s policies of land grab, growing settlement construction, movement restrictions and, for those living in Jerusalem, the revocation of residency identity cards.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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