Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Message 2010
By the Mayor of Bethlehem

Wondrous is this time of year, full of joy and cheer. We prepare ourselves to receive the glorious season in order to renew faith, to celebrate God's biggest gift to mankind and to launch the Christmas message from Bethlehem, the place where it all started.

The never ending honor that God bestowed upon Bethlehem is clearly demonstrated with the birth of our lord Jesus Christ and his message of eternal love, peace and justice.

We hear the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play, wild and sweet, the words repeat: "Peace on earth, good will to men." However, these sounds are hindered by the closure of the town of the Nativity and the separation wall that has cut a 2000 year old relation between Bethlehem and its twin Jerusalem. Ironically the city of peace is missing this noble virtue. Countless difficulties and disasters we face along the years. Nonetheless, we strive on hope, hope for a tranquil situation where justice is fulfilled.

Giving this message, I would like to thank all pilgrims who visited our little town over the course of the past years. We call on them to keep Bethlehem in their minds and prayers and we urge all Christians all over the world to come back to where their roots are stretched, breaking those walls of separation, psychologically rather than physically.

I pray that the year 2011 would be a year of prosperity and tranquility, without any political disturbances and that peace will prevail in the Holy Land and the whole world.

Merry Christmas,
Dr. Victor Batarseh
Mayor of Bethlehem