Wednesday, December 16, 2015
'The War on Christianity' - PA tells Bethlehem Christians to limit Christmas celebrations.
'The War on Christianity' - PA tells Bethlehem Christians to cool it on Christmas. (TOI).
The Palestinian Authority has asked that public municipal Christmas celebrations be kept to a minimum this year, according to a report from Religion News Service.
Although worldwide there are an estimated 1 million Palestinian Christians, today they represent an approximate 1-2% of the population of the West Bank, where many Christian sites, including Bethlehem, the place of Jesus’s birth, are found.
Head of a PA committee on churches in the West Bank Hanna Amireh told RNS that the PA has asked the Bethlehem municipality to abstain from lighting traditional Christmas fireworks and restrict the number of Christmas lights and decorations that annually line the town’s main streets.
According to an article in the Palestinian website Wattan, the Ramallah municipality also announced it will not light its annual Christmas tree due to “the scenes of murder and torture committed by the occupation authorities against our children and our youth.”
“I’m truly disappointed,” Ekram Juha, director of the Bethlehem mayor’s office, told RNS. “This is the place where Jesus was born and if you limit Christmas celebrations here you are limiting something spiritual and holy.”
Following the multi-pronged Paris attacks in November, Pope Francis wondered out loud whether it is appropriate to deck the halls in the face of so much suffering.
“Christmas is approaching: there will be lights, parties, Christmas trees and nativity scenes … it’s all a charade. The world continues to go to war. The world has not chosen a peaceful path,” said pro Palestinian Pope Francis in a sermon. Hmmm........The Christian population has declined from 30% to less than 2% in less than fifty years. Read the full story here.