- Aug 12, 2020
The threatened Israeli annexation of territory in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley could be “the final straw” for a viable Christian presence in Palestine, said a group of local Christian clergy.
Bethlehem residents returned to the Church of the Nativity as the holy site opened to visitors May 26 after being closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But amid the joy was a feeling of uncertainty about their economic future, as pilgrims and tourists are not yet able to return.
A small group of Franciscan monks and Catholic faithful took to the streets of Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter in the Old City Sunday to distribute olive branches after the traditional Palm Sunday procession was cancelled due to restrictions imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Communal church life is an integral part of family life for George and Randa Sabat and their four children, but with a strictly enforced lockdown on the city and the two neighboring towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, the family has been looking inward for spiritual support and a strengthening of their faith.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem urged its faithful to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health, following its order March 5 to close all schools, universities, mosques and churches, including the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has condemned an incursion of several thousand Israeli settlers on Church-owned land in the West Bank on Friday.