- Title: Christians greet Armenian Patriarch in Bethlehem
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: PRIEST AT SCENE WAITING FOR PATRIARCH PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS WELCOME PATRIARCH BELLS RINGING OVER CHURCH OF NATIVITY
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 12:05
- Keywords: Bethlehem Christmas Orthodox Patriarch
- Location: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0045ZLWSBD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Christian faithful flocked to Bethlehem on Wednesday (January 18) to welcome the Armenian Patriarch ahead of Christmas festivities.
Worshippers gathered on the Church of Nativity's Manger Square to greet the Patriarch in the biblical city, revered as the birthplace of Jesus.
Marching bands made their way through the centre of the West Bank town as church bells rang ahead of the arrival of the Armenian Patriarch who would later lead Armenian Christmas Eve midnight mass.
Aline Gergian, an Armenian visitor from Jerusalem, was celebrating Christmas in Manger Square outside the Nativity Church. He said "may peace be achieved so we can live all in peace and happiness."
Christmas in Bethlehem is celebrated three times each year. Many Christians mark the date on December 25, based on the Gregorian calendar, while several Orthodox Christians commemorate the event to recognize the birth of Jesus on January 7. Some Armenian churches celebrate on January 19, making them the last of the Eastern Churches to mark the event.
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