Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas past and Christmas present

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, a significant birth happened 2009 years ago, with special effects including a comet and a celestial angel choir, according to Christian tradition. But today's shepherds wouldn't be able to be the first visitors to reach a Christ child born in Bethlehem. The BBC reports about restrictions on their freedom of movement around the West Bank. To read more, click this link. Wise men on camel back would face significant obstacles, too, particularly if they came from afar. What we don't want to hear is a slaying song tonight.

1 comment:

Izzy Bee said...

Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land led the annual procession from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.

Latin Patriarch Foud Twal said the region sought peace above all else.

"The wish that we most want, we most hope for, is not coming. We want peace," he said after he and his convoy of cars entered the Palestinian territory, having passed through Israel's heavily-guarded separation barrier.

"We want freedom of movement, we don't want walls. We don't want separation fences," he added.

In Bethlehem, the midnight mass is taking place next to the church built over the place where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus.

Some 300 Christians over the age of 35 from the Gaza Strip were given permission by the Israeli military to leave the territory and come to Bethlehem for 24 hours to celebrate Christmas.

A total of 15,000 tourists are expected in the town during this period, in a year that has seen a record number of visitors - some 1.6 million.