Christmas is normally peak season for tourism in Bethlehem, located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank just a few miles southeast of Jerusalem. In pre-pandemic times, thousands of pilgrims and tourists from around the world came to celebrate.
Contributing writer Sarah Blackwell explores the many ways family traditions and rituals are an important part of faith formation for children. Traditions and rituals allow us to look back and appreciate what has come before as well as contemplate what our own legacy will be.
Ahead of Christmas, a towering wooden screen — once blackened with soot from millions of worshipers’ candles — is being restored to its gilded glory in the Church of the Nativity, built at the site where many believe Jesus was born. But few visitors are expected
Like most Holy Land Christians, Hagop Karakashian’s ceramic shop in the Old City here has always relied heavily on the presence of Christian pilgrims, especially in December. But the narrow alleyways of his shop’s ancient neighborhood are painfully empty this year.
Only a few dozen people attended the lighting of the Christmas tree in the biblical city of Bethlehem on Saturday (Dec. 5), as coronavirus restrictions scaled back the annual event that is normally attended by thousands.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has recommended strict limits on Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Celebrations in the biblical town revered by Christians as Jesus’s birthplace are usually attended by thousands of people from around the world.
Baptists and other evangelicals in the birth city of Jesus find themselves impacted by the global coronavirus outbreak as governmental leaders mandate the closing of schools and other institutions. Bethlehem Bible College, an evangelical school with several Baptists involved in leadership, announced Sunday (March 8)