Bethlehem – On Saturday,  5th of December at 7:30 pm, Churches of Bethlehem will ring their bells for peace. Churches all over world are invited to join the event.

 The Church has entered Advent, a liturgical time of waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ. As in every year, attention is focused on Bethlehem, city of the Incarnation, where preparations for Christmas are in full swing.

Considering the general atmosphere which prevails for the moment in the Holy Land, the Municipality of Bethlehem decided to maintain the calendar of planned events but with some changes.  Accordingly, the traditional meal after the lighting of the Christmas tree in  Manger Square is cancelled; decorations are fewer; various concerts initially scheduled will not take place. Decisions were made “out of respect for our martyrs (Palestinians of Bethlehem who died in recent weeks in clashes with Israeli forces), for their families, and for the situation itself”, states Vera Baboun, Mayor of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem remains a city of peace,” she further points out, “and during this Christmas, we must pray more than ever for this peace”.  And in order to make more significant this desire for peace, justice and dignity, bells of Bethlehem will ring this coming Saturday, 5th of December at 7.30 pm (GMT) after the lighting of the Christmas tree, in lieu of fireworks.

A prayer, a symbolic gesture that all churches of the world are invited to participate.  Simply send the following information to the following before Thursday, 3rd of December:

  1. Full name and address of the church.
  2. Send a high definition photo of the external view of your church.
  3. Send a phone number (mobile) in order to receive a message at the moment of the ringing of bells.


Manuella Affejee
Source: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem