Eastern Christmas celebrations commence amid tight health measures and boycotts of Greek Orthodox patriarch

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Christian denominations which follow the eastern calendar celebrate the Christmas celebration on Wednesday morning, with the arrival of the parade of Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, to Manger Square at about 2:00 PM from the city of Jerusalem, amid strict measures, due to measures to prevent the spread of Corona virus, in addition to some scouting teams announcing boycott him after the announcement of new real estate deals with Israel.

According to protocol, it is scheduled that he will be received at the Monastery of Mar Elias, where he will meet with may, mayors and officials.

Orthodox Institutions conference against the diversion of church property that he will be received in Mar Elias out of respect for the ceremony, but he will not greet him.

He will be received by the mayor of Bethlehem, Lawyer Anton Salman, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Rola Maayah, Governor of Bethlehem Major General Kamel Hamid, Brigadier General Nazer Omar, Bethlehem District Commander, Colonel Tariq Al Hajj, director of the governorate’s police and heads of the security services, in addition to several scouting teams. Beit Sahour intends to be absent from receiving the Patriarch in Manger Square, in protest against the publication of more real estate leakage.

Meanwhile, the popular activities and national forces in Beit Sahour announced that the scouting teams, based on the strong quota to preserve the tradition of holidays and establish the Palestinian role in them, the Palestinian scout groups will perform the traditional parade in the city of Bethlehem and return to its den before the arrival of the Patriarch’s convoy. Due Theophilus.

The processions of the other sects will arrive from eight in the morning, respectively, and the procession of the Syriac Orthodox will begin, headed by Archbishop Mar Gabriel Daho, the Patriarchal Deputy of the Antiochean Syriac Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Jordan and the rest of the Holy Land, and at ten o’clock Bethlehem will arrive from Jerusalem, the procession of the Archbishop Anba Dr. Anthony Bishop of the Coptic Church The Orthodox Church, and at three in the afternoon, the Archbishop of Ethiopia, “Al-Ahbash,” the Bishop, Dr. Aba Ambakob, Bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, will hold similar receptions for the same processions, according to the status of the Corona virus itself, as the celebrations will take place on a small scale in order to preserve the health of the citizens and the number of Scout teams made performances on this occasion amid a decrease in their number

Several days ago, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem announced that all religious rituals will be limited to the Christmas Mass for monks only due to the Corona pandemic.

The Patriarchate added in a statement that the Palestinian government will take strict measures to secure traditional rituals, including the official and popular reception of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and all the work of Palestine and Jordan, in the yard of the Church of the Nativity, to ensure the implementation of the Ministry of Health’s instructions in this regard.