US President Joe Biden visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus, Biden, a devout Roman Catholic, stopped by the church Friday after meeting with Palestinian leaders in the ancient West Bank city.
He shook hands with local officials before entering the historic basilica, held sacred by Christians of all denominations.
The White House said Biden’s visit was to “underscore support for Christians who face challenges across the region.”
US President Biden had arrived in the city of Bethlehem at about eleven thirty from the city of Jerusalem. Bethlehem Governor Major General Kamel Hamid, Bethlehem Mayor Hanna Hanania, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Vicar in Bethlehem, Metropolitan Venniktos, and a number of priests and monks, and leaders of the security services.
After that, he continued his way inside the church through its historical door designed for visitors to bow in reverence and reverence for the place. There he was received by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Rulla Maayah and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine and Jordan Theophilos III, the Custodian of the Holy Land Father Francesco Patton and his deputy, Father Ibrahim Faltas, and the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Nourhan Manougian
He was also received by two girls dressed in Palestinian folk dress at the entrance, in addition to a choir of Tersanita School children who carried Palestinian flags and performed a set of religious hymns.
President Biden toured with Palestinian Minister of tourism Rulla Maayah, who gave him a historical presentation on the landmarks of the church, to the cave in which Jesus was born, and Biden performed a special prayer in the presence of church monks and clergy.
According to a number of those who were on the tour, the smile did not leave his face, and he expressed his great admiration for the place, which he described as the holiest place for millions of Christians around the world.
During his visit to the church, Biden knelt on his knees on one of the benches in the Sant Catherine Latin Church, in a scene full of spirituality and integration, and his admiration for the performances made by the children when visiting the church, which lasted for half an hour, and expressed his great fascination with it.
It was also noticed that Biden was keen to talk a little with everyone who greeted him and shook hands with them, and he said in some of these words, whoever lives in Bethlehem is lucky, and that peace in this city must come, and we must move away from despair and despondency.
The visit was Biden’s last stop on his three-day trip to Israel and the occupied West Bank before he flies to Saudi Arabia to meet with the Kingdom’s leaders and Gulf allies.
Bethlehem the Christian city that lives under Israeli occupation municipality finished its preparations to welcome Biden hoping he will follow Jesus Christ’s steps to ensure justice and real peace.
Nader Rahel Deputy Mayer of Bethlehem said in an interview with PNN that Bethlehem has been under siege for tens of years. We believe in Bethlehem and the Holy Land that peace should prevail in the city and in all of Palestine. We hope that Mr. Biden will follow Christ’s steps toward justice, freedom, and peace, and this is something we know that the President has the ability to achieve if he wants to achieve it.