Officials in Bethlehem Take Down Christmas Decorations ‘In Solidarity’ With Gaza

City officials in Bethlehem are taking down Christmas decorations as a show of “solidarity” with Palestinians and the city’s majority Muslim populace. Municipality crews in Bethlehem “announced the dismantling of Christmas decorations installed several years ago in the city’s neighbourhoods and are removing all festive appearances in solidarity with our people in Gaza,” the city announced. A spokesperson for the city of Bethlehem said the “reason is the general situation in Palestine.” “People are not really into any celebration,” the spokesperson said. “They are sad, angry, and upset; our people in Gaza are being killed. Therefore, it is not appropriate at all to have such festivities while there is killing happening in Gaza and attacks in the West Bank.” Although the city is, of course, significant to Christians as the birthplace of Jesus— it is majority Muslim. While Bethlehem often serves as a tourist attraction to Christians during the holiday season, the number of believers who live there has been in precipitous decline since the 20th century. In 1950, for example, Christians were 80% of the population; now they hover around 10% and are subject to persecution. The city did say however it will allow religious ceremonies and observances to take place.

Source: Faithwire

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