altBethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun has noted that one of the Vatican cardinals will participate in the tree lighting ceremony scheduled on December 6 marking the start of Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem.

In an interview to the Lebanese “Nashra” site, Baboun said: “We pray this year for peace in light of the painful circumstances we are going through which show the absence of peace. 

Yet, the lighting of the Christmas tree next month will serve as a sign for the emergence of love and peace, where prayers will be held for the first time in unison with the Vatican.”

Baboun pointed out that the celebrations this year will be limited to Masses, reception of patriarchs at the Manger Square unlike the previous years, where the daily celebrations were numerous, due to the difficult conditions experienced by the Palestinian people.