Interfaith bazaar celebrates Christmas in Jerusalem amid concerns


An interfaith Christmas bazaar thrives in Jerusalem on Christmas Eve, as Christian leaders complain that peace continues to elude Jesus Christ’s birthplace.

A Christmas market hosted by women, including nuns, selling handicrafts from different cultures and religious communities in East Jerusalem has already captured the world’s attention with more than 60 exhibitors, mostly from the Silwan and Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. -East.

They present jewelry, tableware, cosmetics, fashion accessories, handmade sweets and local specialties, ceramics, organic jams, candles at the “Christmas Bazaar”. The nuns sell items produced in the monasteries of different congregations.

“These women, of different religions, of different nationalities, with very different lives, will spend the whole day together”, wrote Florence Budry on the site of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

In another development aimed at interfaith harmony, Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and Tel Aviv University have joined forces.

Amid the camaraderie, there was an argument on October 26, when a cultural festival, co-sponsored by the Palestinian National Theater, was held with theatrical and musical workshops aimed at young Palestinians living in the area.

The October 26 incident sparked a reaction from the Assembly of Heads of Catholic Churches in the Holy Land

It was forcibly interrupted and the cancellation order was issued by Israel because the festival was “supported and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority without written permission.”

The October 26 incident provoked a reaction from the Assembly of Heads of Catholic Churches in the Holy Land, which expressed “concern” at the “repeated hostile and repressive acts” implemented in the Holy City.

Peace has been elusive for the three Abrahamic faiths living in the Holy Land as it was devastated by the 11-day conflict in May of this year, which left 227 people dead, including 65 children and 39 women.

Since Pope Saint John Paul II, who spent five days in the Holy Land in March 2000, the Church has been active in resolving the Palestinian conflict. The 2015 Vatican accord recognized Palestine and approved the two-nation solution.

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December 18, in an interview with the American newspaper Telegraph, Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, noted that the lives of many Christians in Jerusalem have been made “unsustainable by radical local groups with extremist ideologies”.

“It seems that their goal,” added the Franciscan father, “is to liberate the old city of Jerusalem from its Christian presence, including the Christian quarter,” he told Vatican news agency Fides. .

Christian leaders had, among other things, cited the “countless attacks” on churches, monasteries and representatives of the clergy by “radical groups” who aim to “expel” Christians from Jerusalem and the Holy Land, they said. declared.

However, Israel has denied accusations made by patriarchs and heads of churches in the Holy Land regarding the threat to the presence of Christians.

But according to Israel, they “are without foundation and distort the reality of the Christian community in Israel”.

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