Traditional Christmas Canceled in Bethlehem This Year Due To War

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Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the reason for the Christmas season.

Millions of Christians annually flock to the city in the West Bank to celebrate the birth of their savior

But this year it will be different in the ancient city, thanks to war.

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‘Bethlehem will stand dark and deserted’

Bethlehem is just a stone’s throw from Jerusalem, and houses many places important to Christianity, including the Church of the Nativity and the Church of St. Catherine.

CNN reports:

For Palestinians, Christmas in Bethlehem represents a window to the world. It has long been synonymous with joy and hope, and an occasion to commemorate the place of birth of the Christmas story itself.

Picture the vibrant streets adorned with festive lights, the air filled with the melodies of choirs and boy scouts parading with their musical instruments, while those who are celebrating taste traditional Palestinian Arabic food. …

This year, however, there will only be a shadow of the dazzling Christmas tree in Manger Square, where Christians, Muslims and visitors from around the world usually gather to celebrate.

Bethlehem will stand dark and deserted – a poignant reflection of the suffering endured by the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier last month, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem called on their congregations to forgo the customary celebrations, while still upholding the religious and spiritual aspects of Christmas.

The birthplace of King David and Jesus Christ, dark and deserted on Christmas.

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A different kind of Christmas in Bethlehem

The lack of celebrating Christ’s birthplace due to war is unfortunate to say the least.

Christmas is a time for friends, family, and acknowledging God’s love.

This Christmas is no different – but the Christians caught in the crossfire will have to find another way to celebrate.

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