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Category: Church of the Nativity

Coronavirus dampens Christmas joy in biblical Bethlehem

The biblical town of Bethlehem is gearing up for its second straight Christmas Eve hit by the coronavirus — with small crowds and gray, gloomy weather dampening celebrations Friday in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

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Coronavirus dampens Christmas joy in Bethlehem and elsewhere

Bethlehem on Thursday ushered in Christmas Eve with a stream of joyous marching bands and the triumphant arrival of the top Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land, but few people were there to greet them as the coronavirus pandemic and a strict lockdown dampened celebrations in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

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Lockdown looms over Christmas in Bethlehem

The mayor of Bethlehem on Thursday said Christmas celebrations in the birthplace of Jesus will be limited to just a handful of people this year as Palestinian officials announced a strict new lockdown across the West Bank due to a soaring coronavirus outbreak.

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Almost 7,000 people out of work in Bethlehem’s tourism sector

It will be a quiet and subdued Christmas this year in Bethlehem, with almost 7,000 people involved in the tourism sector out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman.

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Christmas tree-lighting in Bethlehem a muted, virtual event

Only a few dozen people attended the lighting of the Christmas tree in the biblical city of Bethlehem on Saturday night, as coronavirus restrictions scaled back the annual event that is normally attended by thousands.

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Bethlehem at Christmas: Unemployment can mean choosing food or medicine

As the Christmas approaches, Franciscan Father Rami Asakrieh of St. Catherine Parish said he has been overwhelmed with requests for help — people have been out of work and with no income for almost nine months.

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