In Siberia he bears a blue robe and horns, and in Thailand he comes riding an elephant. Christmas is celebrated differently around the world, and from around the world pilgrims flock each year to spend Christmas in the town where Jesus was born.
For Christians, Bethlehem is a pilgrimage site, but its inhabitants live in fear of rising political tensions after President Donald Trump announced that the US will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Recent violence sparked by US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has put a damper on Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem. Still, scores of people took part in Christmas Eve festivities.
Pope Francis has equated the story of Joseph and Mary to the current refugee crisis during his Christmas Eve Mass. He said the respect for migrants was an integral part of Christianity.
The arrival of Greek Patriarch Theophilos III in Bethlehem was the center of a protest against church land sales to Jewish groups. Some townships had called for a boycott of the midnight mass attended by the patriarch.
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