Pilgrims celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem
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Bethlehem Christmas: Church of the Nativity hosts pilgrims

Christian pilgrims from around the world have attended a Christmas Eve Mass at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born.

Fewer people than usual were in the West Bank town because of increased tensions between Palestinians and the Israeli army since US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

During the Mass attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa said: "Jerusalem is a city of peace, there is not peace if someone is excluded."

Earlier, Palestinian scouts played bagpipes during an annual march towards the church.

  • 25 Dec 2017
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