For nearly two millennia, pilgrims have venerated Mary’s Tomb.
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The Latin Patriarchate, the Catholic Church’s on-the-ground presence in the Holy Land, is waiting to see whether the new Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will address matters that went unresolved during the 12-year term of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Christian leaders announced May 26 that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem would once again welcome the public, with some restrictions.
Local Christians celebrate at home, entering into a deep spirituality focused on hope.
The Palestinian Authority is also prohibiting all but essential travel between Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities to limit the virus’ spread.
Holy Land Christians share in the widespread skepticism there that the new U.S. plan can provide a constructive solution to the region’s intractable divisions.
The Nino Dios home in Bethlehem cares for 36 Palestinian children with severe disabilities.
The city’s small Christian community doubts its concerns will be addressed, whoever wins in the Oct. 30 municipal vote.
The law codifies that Israel is the national state and homeland of the Jewish people and that only Jewish Israelis have a right to self-determination in the country.
The law criminalizes some statements that blame Poland or Poles for cooperating with the genocide of Jews.