The Top Roman Catholic cleric in Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa, said in his Christmas message on Friday that he was “sure’’ the political situation in the Middle East would not improve in 2019.
Archbishop Pizzaballa, the head of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Catholic church in Holy Land, acknowledged that people were “living a very difficult reality’’ in the region, but said he still believed in the power of Christianity.
“We know we cannot change the political situation, but we can change the way we live our lives in this situation,’’ he said.
“We cannot dwell on our problems in our schools, our families, and in our parishes.’’
He concluded by expressing optimism that Christians in Jerusalem would continue to be “proud, happy and joyful,’’ notwithstanding the political struggles.
Piazzabella will lead the traditional Christmas procession from Jerusalem to Bethlehem on Dec. 24.
The West Bank city of Bethlehem is considered to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and attracts thousands of Christians globally every year around Christmas.
The Israeli Ministry for Tourism expects around 150,000 Christian pilgrims and tourists to come to Bethlehem at this time, a spokesperson said on Friday. (dpa/NAN)