- Title: Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch arrives in Bethlehem to lead Christmas festivities
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GIRL FROM THE ISRAELI ARAB TOWN OF RAMEH, SAMA SHAHADEH, SAYING: "Today we came here to visit the churches, and to see the marching bands. I enjoy visit Bethlehem, every year we visit over here. For the past five years we have celebrated (Christmas) in Bethlehem and enjoy it every year because here we can enjoy the real festive celebrations, as Jesus Christ was born here." MARCHING BAND FROM GAZA PERFORMING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JORDANIAN-BORN AMANI HADDAD, WHO RESIDES IN AUSTRALIA, SAYING: "The festivities are so beautiful and well-organised. It is a peaceful and loving atmosphere. Everything is beautiful. We pray that peace will be spread in the Middle East, in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and all places that suffer from persecution. Jesus spreads peace." PIZZABALLA WALKING TOWARDS NATIVITY CHURCH CLERGYMAN HOLDING THURIBLE AS PIZZABALLA PERFORMING RITUAL MARCHING BANDS AND CLERGYMEN WELCOMING PIZZABALLA
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 15:30
- Keywords: Bethlehem Christmas Church of Nativity Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa Manger Square Palestinians
- Location: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA002BBC4P53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The acting Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, arrived in the West Bank town of Bethlehem to kick off Christmas festivities and lead the Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity on Tuesday (December 24).
Pizzaballa, who travelled to Bethlehem through the Israeli built-separation barrier, was greeted by thousands of Palestinians and tourists who gathered at Manger Square, outside the Nativity Church, to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Marching bands were performing at the iconic square in the centre of Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus.
The patriarch was accompanied by a procession of clergymen into the ancient church, where he is expected to lead midnight and Christmas morning mass.
(Production: Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh, Ismail Khadder, Mamoun Wazwaz, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Roleen Tafakji)
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