Abbas, Ashton ring in Christmas at midnight mass in Bethlehem

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, led the mass in the Church of the Nativity.

By REUTERS
December 25, 2013 10:31
Abbas greets Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal

Abbas greets Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Hundreds of worshipers attended a midnight Christmas Eve mass in the West Bank town of Bethlehem in the late hours of Tuesday.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, led the mass in the Church of the Nativity, believed by millions of Christians to be located at the exact spot of the birth of Jesus.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The mass in Bethlehem attracted hundreds of tourists from around the world and was also attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, was the guest of honor at the special service. Ashton's office said that no diplomatic meetings will be held during her visit to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

"We are all invited to hope and join the angel's choirs to make our land, the land of the religions, to make it a peaceful and blessing land for all people," Twal said as he led the mass in the early hours of Tuesday (December 25).

The Palestinian tourism ministry said tourism numbers had increased with 50,000 foreign and local pilgrims arriving in Bethlehem on Christmas eve.


Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN