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BETHLEHEM, West Bank ‚ÄĒ Palestinians lit a four-story Christmas tree in this biblical town Saturday, kicking off a holiday season free of fighting with Israel that officials say will bring the most pilgrims since hostilities broke out seven years ago.
Residents of the West Bank town of 30,000 and foreign tourists alike strolled streets Saturday under lights shaped like bells and Santa Claus. Christians count for only a small percentage of Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land, including Bethlehem, but the town believed to be the birthplace of Jesus is one of the few places that Christmas is felt.
Tourism is integral to efforts to bolster the Palestinian economy, which is tattered from years of conflict with Israel. Early in the fighting that broke out in 2000, Bethlehem was the scene of fierce shootouts between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli army forces in nearby Jerusalem who fired at each...
Jim Lincoln, I absolutely agree with you. In fact I would not even bother to visit Bethlehem when I were in Israel. I have been told that the "established christian" churches there have turned the alleged site of the Lord's birth (how do they know it was exactly there?)into a religious disney-land. Too bad many muslims think that all Christians are condoning this idolatry.
Christian, Islam is there, so why shouldn't another false religion be there also? In fact the Mohammedans have ran out the majority of Christians.
‚ÄúBethlehem is no longer controlled by Israel, but by Palestinians, often hostile Muslims who accept traditional Christians who have been Christians for generations, but if a Muslim turns to faith in Jesus, he may be killed by his own family members. The evangelistic work is going forward, but has to be done very carefully, wisely and under the direction of the Holy Spirit.‚ÄĚ
Following numerous interviews with Palestinian Christians who have experienced persecution and abuse because of their faith, Weiner concluded, ‚ÄúThe worst treatment is often ‚Äėreserved‚Äô for persons who leave Islam to become Christians.‚ÄĚ from,