- Title: WEST BANK: Birthtown of Jesus prepares for the arrival of 2010
- Date: 1st January 2010
- Summary: BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 31, 2009) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF NATIVITY CHURCH CHURCH BELL TOWERS
- Embargoed: 16th January 2010 12:00
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVADGCQXK8OJCJJGT3TAX66KIKY0
- Story Text: Christian worshippers from around the world attended New Year's mass on Thursday (December 31) at the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Many of the tourists arrived at the West Bank for Christmas festivities last week, and stayed over for New Year's mass.
Father Michel Angelo Priotto, an Italian tourist said he will pray for peace in the region.
"We pray for not only political peace, but the real peace, so that the two people, the Jewish people and the Arabic people could stay together in this land," he said.
"It is great, it is beautifulâ€¦ beautiful country beautiful time to be here, and defiantly significant city in Christianity," Chase, an American tourist, told Reuters outside the Church of Nativity.
Tourism has picked up in the past few years, after collapsing during the violent Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, which erupted in 2000.
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