- Title: Custodian begins Christmas ceremonies under lockdown in 'sad' Bethlehem
- Date: 28th November 2020
- Summary: PATTON WITH CLERGYMEN DURING CEREMONY CLERGYMEN WALKING IN CEREMONY PATTON DURING CEREMONY CHRISTIAN STATUE IN CHURCH PATTON HOLDING CEREMONY RITUALS IN CHURCH
- Embargoed: 12th December 2020 11:04
- Keywords: Bethlehem Christmas season Cutodian Palestinians
- Location: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003D6HDKXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The Custodian of the Holy Land launched a very different Christmas season in the West Bank on Saturday (November 28) with a visit to Bethlehem, regarded by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus.
Father Francesco Patton's arrival in the town marks the beginning of the festive season of Advent when millions of Christians around the world make their preparations for Christmas.
Marching bands played but there were none of the usual crowds due to coronavirus as Patton and other senior clergymen made their way to the Church of Nativity for a service.
"Bethlehem is sad and it is not only Bethlehem that is sad, the whole world is sad," said Father Ibrahim Faltas.
Currently, the West Bank is under partial lockdown in a bid to minimize crowds for the Christmas season.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that the total number of infections reached 93,400 cases including 776 deaths in the occupied territories.
Three Christian denominations - the Armenians, Roman Catholics, and Greek Orthodox - share control of the church in the West Bank town.
(Production: Mohammad Abu Ganeyeh, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Suheir Sheikh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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