- Title: Quiet Christmas day mass held in Bethlehem's Nativity Church
- Date: 25th December 2020
- Summary: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 25,2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) DRONE FOOTAGE OF MANGER SQUARE NEAR NATIVITY CHURCH ON CHRISTMAS DAY, DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
- 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: LVA001DAI8U2V
- 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
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