Eastern denominations mark Christmas in Bethlehem

Eastern Christian denominations following the Orthodox calendar welcomed archbishops and patriarchs to celebrate Christmas Eve on 26th April outside of Jesus Christ’s traditional birthplace at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem.
 
This year’s Christmas celebration came as a slight reprieve from Israeli violations — characterized by severe restrictions on Palestinian movement and what rights groups have called the ‘extrajudicial’ killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces — that have occurred since violence erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October 2015, which forced organizers last year to scale down Christmas celebrations.
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