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Christmas Canceled in Bethlehem, Birthplace of Jesus

Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus according to Chrisitian belief, has canceled Christmas following the onslaught on Gaza by the Israeli Regime that has now killed over 20,000 people in a span of two months. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in West Bank’s Bethlehem expressed solidarity with the people of Gaza, mourning the immense loss of life. Pastor Munther Isaac said “this is madness,” when asked why the festive celebrations were canceled. “This has become a genocide with 1.7 million people displaced,” he said. 

On November 2, 2023, the Jordan Council of Church Leaders (JCCL) also announced the cancellation of Christmas celebrations.

Christmas is a festive public holiday in several Muslim majority nations too. But Jordan will “now forgo the traditional festivities of public tree lighting, Christmas markets, scout parades, and distribution of gifts to children,” a report stated. Religious festivities, however, will continue.

“In our homes we can celebrate, but in our hearts we are suffering,” said Ibrahim Dabbour, JCCL general secretary and a Greek Orthodox priest. “How can we decorate a Christmas tree?”

A church in the occupied West bank also changed this year’s nativity scene which showed a baby Jesus lying in the rubble, a mark of solidarity to the thousands of babies killed and children trapped underneath the rubble from the Israeli Regime’s onslaught against the Gaza Strip.

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