- Dec 2, 2020
When Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa makes his first entrance into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as patriarch, he will continue the balancing act of representing everyone in the Holy Land.
The coronavirus has cast a pall over Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, all but shutting down the biblical town revered as Jesus’ birthplace at the height of the normally cheery holiday season.
The worsening coronavirus pandemic and economic conditions in Syria are further deepening poverty and hardship for Christians, who find themselves trapped in a political stalemate, religious freedom advocates say.
The year, the Christmas tradition of the Peace Light of Bethlehem continues, despite COVID-19 restrictions and border and church closures.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has recommended strict limits on Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Religious minorities are highly vulnerable during conflicts, often exposed to grave violence, and require active protection and assistance, religious freedom advocates said during the 2020 Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief, sponsored by the U.S. State Department and hosted by Poland.