- Title: Armenian Patriarch celebrates Christmas amid COVID-19 restrictions
- Date: 18th January 2021
- Summary: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (JANUARY 18, 2021) (REUTERS) ARMENIAN CLERGYMEN CARRYING INCENSE AS HE WAITS FOR THE ARRIVAL OF ARMENIAN PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM NOURHAN MANOUGIAN, OUTSIDE THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY MANOUGIAN ARRIVING AT MANGER SQUARE TO LEAD CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION VARIOUS OF MANOUGIAN WALKING NEXT TO CLERGYMEN AND MAYOR OF BETHLEHEM ANTON SALMAN TOWARD NATIVITY CHURCH GOLDEN CROSS CLERGYMEN WALKING AHEAD OF THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCH NOURHAN MANOUGIAN DURING CHRISTMAS PROCESSION CLERGYMEN WALKING TOWARD NATIVITY CHURCH VIEW OF GOLDEN CROSS CLERGYMEN WALKING TOWARD NATIVITY CHURCH VARIOUS OF PROCESSION CLERGYMEN WALKING TOWARDS THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY CHURCH BELLS RINGING VARIOUS OF CLERGYMEN ENTERING CHURCH
- Embargoed: 1st February 2021 10:19
- Keywords: Armenian Christmas celebrations Armenian Patriarch Nourhan Manougian Bethlehem COVID-19 Church of Nativity
- Location: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001DVQDV0N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Armenian Patriarch Nourhan Manougian arrived at the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday (January 18), where he will celebrate Christmas according to the Eastern calendar by leading midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity.
Under COVID-19 restrictions, a less than usual crowd of faithful greeted the patriarch at Manger Square, in striking contrast to what would normally be a busy scene.
Just 12 months ago, the Palestinian town was celebrating its busiest festive season for two decades, amid a sustained drop in violence and a corresponding surge in the number of pilgrims and tourists.
But now, hotels that were adding new wings in 2019 are shuttered and Christmas and festivities are held online due to the coronavirus restrictions imposed by the Palestinian Authority.
Many Christians mark the date as December 25, based on the Gregorian calendar, while several Orthodox Christians commemorate the event to recognise the birth of Jesus on January 7.
Some Armenian churches celebrate on January 19, when the Christmas Mass will be held, making them the last of the Eastern Churches to mark the event.
The Church of the Nativity is shared by various Eastern denominations including the ancient Assyrian Church, the Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and the Coptic Church.
Leaders from the various churches arrive every year at the church to kick off their Christmas Eve celebrations.
(Production: Mohammad abu Ganeyeh, Suheir Sheikh)
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