Bethlehem sees record pilgrim crowd for Christmas
Bethlehem: A record number of pilgrims from around the world have gathered in Bethlehem on Christmas Day in the largest celebration this West Bank town has seen in a decade.
Pilgrims were assembling around the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where tradition holds Jesus was born, for prayers on Saturday morning.
The Israeli military put the number of pilgrims this year at over 100,000, compared to about 50,000 last year.
Warm weather, a virtual halt in Israeli-Palestinian violence and an economic revival in the West Bank have added to the holiday cheer.
Only one-third of Bethlehem`s 50,000 residents are Christian, down from about 75 percent in the 1950s. The rest are Muslims.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Congress workers blow up pigeons by blasting them inside rockets
- Indian Army 5th deadliest in the world: Report
- Beef row: Lalu Prasad Yadav contradicts his statements
- Lalu Yadav's son Tejasvi Yadav wants to change the face of Bihar education
- Indrani Mukerjea attains consciousness; is now out of danger
- Is Salman Khan - Aamir Khan friendship over?
- Parrikar hits out at Nawaz Sharif, says India doesn't need advice about troops in Siachen
- Prefer to ignore what Nawaz Sharif said at UN, says Manohar Parrikar
- Congressmen tie pigeon inside rocket to welcome their leader – A must watch for Rahul Gandhi
- Neither Dadri nor Babri: India is 'Muslim woman delivering 'Ganesha' inside temple'