- Title: Quiet Christmas day mass held in Bethlehem's Nativity Church
- Date: 25th December 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF CLOSED GATE OF NATIVITY CHURCH DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF BETHLEHEM, SAHAR MURRA, SAYING: "The holiday mood as everyone is seeing, is sad this year; because of the pandemic which spread in our country; and also due to the bad economic situation especially n Bethlehem, which depends on tourism. It was affected more than other areas." CHRISTMAS TREE OUTSIDE CHURCH OF NATIVITY CROSS OF THE CHURCH OF NATIVITY, ORNAMENT STAR ON TOP OF CHRISTMAS TREE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PRIEST, FATHER ISSA THALJIEH, SAYING: "The Christmas mood should be nicer and prettier than how it is today in the Manger Square. This year is different from other years, because the atmosphere is sad because of sickness and epidemics that are being faced now not only in Bethlehem but in the entire world. That is why our message from Bethlehem is a message to pray to God to be cured from illnesses and pandemics." NATIVITY SCENE NEAR CHRISTMAS TREE EMPTY MANGER SQUARE BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 25,2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) DRONE FOOTAGE OF EMPTY MANGER SQUARE
- Embargoed: 8th January 2021 10:22
- Keywords: COVID19 Christmas Palestinians coronavirus holidays
- Location: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA005DAI8U2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa on Friday (December 25), led Christmas day Mass in the Church of Nativity, believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus.
The mass in the West Bank town of Bethlehem which usually attracts hundreds of tourists and worshippers from around the world was nearly empty this year amid COVID-19 rules and restrictions.
A smaller than usual crowd of faithful greeted the patriarch at Manger Square, in striking contrast to what would normally be a vibrant scene.
Just 12 months ago the Palestinian town was celebrating its busiest Christmas season for two decades, thanks to a dramatic increase in incoming pilgrims and tourists after regional violence diminished.
But now, hotels that were adding new wings in 2019 are shuttered and Christmas festivities will be held online due to the coronavirus restrictions imposed by the Palestinian Authority.
The newly-appointed Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who himself contracted the virus and has since recovered, led this year's reduced celebrations, delivering his Christmas message on December 24.
(Production:Roleen Tafakji, Yosri alJamal, Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None