- Jan 24, 2020
Against a backdrop of anti-government protests in Iraq and Lebanon, at Christmas, Catholic patriarchs in the Middle East spoke of continued suffering.
Thousands of Christian pilgrims descended on the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, ahead of Tuesday’s annual Christmas Eve celebrations.
Christmas is a reminder of the redemption granted by God, despite encounters with sins such as war, injustice and overconsumption, said the patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem in their joint Christmas message.
Following protests, Catholics in Gaza have been granted permits to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, after Israeli officials had previously indicated that they would deny permission to take part in the long-standing tradition.
Brothers Peter and Eli Hosh grew up knowing that their hometown was not only the place where they went to school and ran down to the corner market for their mother, but the town where Jesus was born.
Lebanon’s president held long-delayed talks with parliamentary blocs on Thursday to discuss the naming of a new prime minister amid a rapidly worsening political and economic crisis and weeks of nationwide protests roiling the country.