The Christian Post recently reported that the City of Bethlehem has canceled all Christmas displays and festivities this year in honor of Palestinian “martyrs” amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
On Tuesday (11/14/2023), municipal crews in Bethlehem announced on Facebook the dismantling of Christmas decorations installed several years ago “to stand in solidarity with our people in Gaza.”
This means that for the first time since modern celebrations began, no Christmas trees or decorative lights will be on display in Bethlehem’s Manger Square – said to be the location of the manger where Jesus was placed following His birth in the Town of Bethlehem.
The Christian Post article may be read HERE.
The Muslim-majority City of Bethlehem has a population of 25,000 and is located five miles SSW of Jerusalem, within Israel’s West Bank.
It is reported by GB Britain’s News Channel, that a Christmas mass and prayers will still take place in Manger Square, according to a municipal spokesman for the City of Bethlehem.
My brothers and sisters, it may seem obvious, but given the circumstances of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, safety for those Christians still living in Bethlehem, as well as those who may attempt to visit Bethlehem during the Christmas season, is of great concern. Let’s pray for God’s supernatural protection upon this land, which is the earthly birthplace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Not that many decades ago, Bethlehem’s population was primarily Christian, but no more. According to The National Catholic Reporter, Bethlehem was 86% Christian in 1950, but in 2016, that figure stood at 12%.
Micah 5:2 (Amplified Bible)
The Coming Messiah
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, [t]oo little to be among the clans of Judah; [f]rom you One shall come forth for Me [who is] to be Ruler in Israel, His goings forth (appearances) are from long ago, [f]rom ancient days.”
Luke 2:4-7 (NKJV)
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with [C]hild. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Matthew 2:1-2 (NKJV)
Wise Men from the East
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘[w]here is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’”
Praise Jesus forevermore!