Quiet Bethlehem Christmas means 'less business, more religion'

Deprived of its usual tourist influx by the pandemic, Bethlehem will celebrate a quiet Christmas this year that is less about commerce and more about religion, says its parish priest. In a normal year hundreds of thousands of visitors flood the Palestinian city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, located less than 10 kilometres (six miles) from Jerusalem. Those seeking a quiet moment of contemplation in the Church of Nativity — the site of Christ’s birth, according to tradition — generally have to use their elbows to manoeuvre through the crowds. While the lack of visitors has been devastatin…

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