Author Topic: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem  (Read 1278 times)

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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« on: January 17, 2010, 03:49:59 AM »
Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem

(AFP) – Jan 6, 2010

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Orthodox Christmas celebrations kicked off in the traditional birthplace of Jesus on Wednesday to the sound of bagpipes and protests by Palestinians accusing church leaders of selling land to Israelis.

Palestinian boy-scouts played bagpipes and hundreds of pilgrims watched a colourful procession led by Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III through Manger Square in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Two columns of Palestinian riot police escorted the top Orthodox cleric in the Holy Land to the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Christians believe Mary gave birth to Jesus after she and Joseph found no room at the inn.

Theophilos was elected patriarch in 2005 to replace Irineos, dismissed by the church over an alleged multi-million-dollar sale of church land in annexed Arab east Jerusalem to Jewish investors.

The protesters chanted slogans against Theophilos and held up signs in English, Arabic and Greek accusing him of betraying his Palestinian followers.

"He did not fulfil his promise to cancel the deal," said Marwan Tubasi, President of the Council of Arab Orthodox Organisations and Palestinian deputy tourism minister.

Tubasi said Theophilos has since also approved the lease of further church land to an Israeli company.

Property transactions with Israelis anger Palestinians who see east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state.

Following the procession, Theophilos began Christmas ceremonies for Greek, Syrian and Coptic churches, leading prayers at the ancient Church of the Nativity.

Some other Orthodox churches also joined in rites that were attended by hundreds of tourists and pilgrims.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was due to attend midnight mass.

The Orthodox faith uses the old Julian calendar in which Christmas currently falls 13 days after its more widespread Gregorian calendar counterpart on December 25.

The Armenian Church will celebrate the city's third Christmas on January 19.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gZkpmmed8yLEg5wLhE0u2RQocsXg
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 03:50:17 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 02:33:28 PM »
Lord have mercy. I think it would be nice though, if people would just focus on Christ for Nativity and worry about protesting later.

A little off topic, but why do the Armenians celebrate on the 19th? They don't celebrate Nativity with the Copts?

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 06:18:09 PM »
A little off topic, but why do the Armenians celebrate on the 19th? They don't celebrate Nativity with the Copts?

No, the Armenian church retains the most ancient custom of celebrating Nativity and Theophany at the same time on Jan. 6th (Julian Calendar).  They are the only ancient church that does this in any communion.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 06:18:45 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 06:28:10 PM »
Lord have mercy. I think it would be nice though, if people would just focus on Christ for Nativity and worry about protesting later.

There isn't much "later" left for the Palestinian Christians.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 09:30:48 PM »

A little off topic, but why do the Armenians celebrate on the 19th?

The Armenians of their Patriarchate of Jerusalem do. This is because the Armenians, in general, celebrate Christmas and Theophany as one Feast, and on the old rendering of the calendar, Theophany falls on the 19th.


They don't celebrate Nativity with the Copts?

No. The Copts in Jerusalem probably celebrate Christmas on the 7th.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 10:05:53 PM »
The Armenians have kept the ancient tradition of celebrating both Christmas and Theophany on January 6.  On the Julian Calendar that is January 19.  The Armenians in Jerusalem are on the Julian Calendar.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7897.0.html

Offline Salpy

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010, 10:10:54 PM »
Oops.  I just realized the question was already answered.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010, 10:59:20 PM »
I read somewhere that some of the Palestinian Orthodox are threatening to break away into an "Arab Orthodox" jurisdiction. That would be truly tragic... I hope the Jerusalem hierarchs make some serious effort to address their concerns.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010, 11:39:42 PM »
The Armenians have kept the ancient tradition of celebrating both Christmas and Theophany on January 6.  On the Julian Calendar that is January 19.  The Armenians in Jerusalem are on the Julian Calendar.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7897.0.html

Are the Armenians in Armenia?  What is the break down of Old/New Calendar among the Armenians?
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 12:10:52 AM »
The Armenians have kept the ancient tradition of celebrating both Christmas and Theophany on January 6.  On the Julian Calendar that is January 19.  The Armenians in Jerusalem are on the Julian Calendar.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,7897.0.html

Are the Armenians in Armenia?  What is the break down of Old/New Calendar among the Armenians?

As far as I know, the Catholicosate of Cilicia and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem use the Old Julian Calendar, whereas the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin uses the Gregorian Calendar (as such, I think the Armenians in Armenia mostly or completely run on the Gregorian calendar). I don't know about the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Also, Salpy will probably know better than me.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 12:22:47 AM by deusveritasest »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 12:11:40 AM »
*double post*
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 12:11:54 AM by deusveritasest »
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2010, 12:21:39 AM »
I just know Etchmiadzin is on the new calendar and Jerusalem is on the old.  I'm not sure about the others.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Protests mark start of Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2010, 12:30:27 AM »
I think I was wrong about Cilicia universally using the Julian. Both the Catholicosate's website and the local diocese for Cilicia date the Nativity for January 6th.
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