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Christmas Day mass in Bethlehem

posted 25 Dec 2012, 03:55 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 25 Dec 2012, 03:57 ]

Christian worshippers flock to Bethlehem's Church of Nativity for Christmas mass.

BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 24, 2012) (REUTERS) -  Hundreds of Christian worshippers attended Christmas Day church services in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Tuesday (December 25).

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal led the mass in the Church of the Nativity, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus.

The church pews were packed with worshippers attending the ceremony, which included a choir singing hymns in front of a Christmas tree.

The annual Christmas Eve mass in Bethlehem also attracted tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world.

Its attendees included Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

In St Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve mass on Monday (December 24) during which he appealed for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. He asked for prayers for the people who "live and suffer" in the Holy Land, calling for peace among Israelis and Palestinians and for the people of SyriaLebanon andIraq.