|Serbians in Belgrade~Picture Credit: Blazing Cat Fur|
For many people, especially outside of North America, Christmas does not come on 25 December. The Orthodox Churches in Russia and other Slavic countries as well as in the Middle East, hold their Christmas Eve celebrations on 06 January.
The Assyrian, Armenian and Coptic patriarchs celebrate with marches and services held in Bethlehem and within Jerusalem's Old City. There are also Christmas markets in Bethlehem and Nazareth as well as the Old City, and a variety of religious services and activities. Tourists from around the world travel to Israel for this special time.
Although this is a time for peace and celebration there are still conflicts. In the entire middle-east, Israel is the only country where the Christian population has increased. Bethlehem, which is now under "PA" control, has gone from a majority Christian to a majority Muslim city. The Christian population now is about 10%, and those remaining dare not speak out for fear of persecution. The Christmas "Tourism" business is pushed, but once the tourists leave it is a different story. There are even factions who are trying to "steal" the day by claiming that Mary was a Palestinian, and Jesus was the first Jihad. Even during this holiest time of the year, propaganda and politics rule the day.
Regardless, those who are true believers have only one thing in mind on this day~and that is the Miracle and Hope that was given to all mankind. Despite threats and oppression, the tiny Christian communities continue to pray and wait for the time when all the world will know peace.
Please pray for the Christian Communities in the Middle East! They are now among the most persecuted (and ignored) people in the world!
Божићна песма - Превјечни родисја по љети~The Pre-Eternal is Born
Angels Are Singing~Serbian Christmas Song