Religion

Jerusalem Rejoices in the Welcome of Ramadan

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 03.10.2007:

By Dr. Ali Qleibo

Ramadan Kareem, yes, but Allahu Akram.

“Ramadan Kareem," (literally Ramadan is generous), is the salutation with which Muslims greet each other during the month of Ramadan. The response is: “Allahu Akram,” God is more generous.

This idiomatic exchange forms the main mode of welcome and polite conduct should a guest drop by during the daylight hours. Whil(...)

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‘Ain el-Mamoudiyeh (the Spring of Baptism)

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 30.06.2007:

By Ahmed Rjoob

Located seven kilometres west of Hebron and one kilometre south-east of Taffuh town, the ‘Ain el-Mamoudiyeh was named after St. John the Baptist. According to Byzantine tradition, Elizabeth brought her infant son, John the Baptist, to a cave in ‘Ain Karem to save him from the murderous wrath of Herod, who was impelled by fear of losing his kingdom. Hence, it is believed (...)

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Truth behind the real figure of St George

Contributed by Steve Bonham on 30.03.2007:

The Leicester Mercury has a daily circulation of 73 000

Opinion Leicester Mercury 29th March

It is a strange but little-known fact that the patron saint of England did not live in this country but in Palestine. Indeed, St George still has a place in Palestinian culture and is often linked to the Islamic figure of Al Khader. Now, a Leicester group is highlighting these links th(...)

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The Shepherds’ Fields

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 30.01.2007:

According to St Luke, it was the shepherds who were the first to spread abroad the message of the Angels. In the valley east of Bethlehem, reached today by a twisting motor road, but in fact only 1100 yards (1015 m.) from the Church of the Nativity, is the village of Beth-Sahur. There is a ruin field here known in Arabic as Deir (monastery) or Kanisat al-Ru'at (Church of the Shepherds). The u(...)

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The Pillar Paintings in the Nativity Church

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 30.01.2007:

Not least among the attractions of the basilica is its forest of forty-four pillars, of which thirty are decorated with paintings of the saints. It is one of the most complete collections of medieval paintings in existence. Other examples, wall paintings included, are to be seen in the church of the Hospital of St John at Abu Ghosh, in the Theoctistus Monastery in the Judaean desert, and in S(...)

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The Wall Mosaics in the Nativity Church

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 30.01.2007:

When Canon Casola saw them in 1494, he spoke of most beautiful mosaics that look quite new; they are sadly decayed since his day, and fragments only now remain. The complete scheme is known from Fr Francis Quaresmius' description of 1626, when they were still complete. They could quite easily be restored in the original style and designs.

To see them, it is best to stand as far away as(...)

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Invocations

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 24.01.2007:

The importance of invocations in the Bethlehem District is not less than the importance of proverbs. They are still widely circulated. Various classes of society use them, though they are in greater circulation among the old.

We shall not deal with imprecations (may God protect you from their harm). We shall be satisfied with mentioning invocations. The rhyme phenomenon is noticeable i(...)

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The Important Christian Feasts

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 24.01.2007:

The following are some of the important Christian feasts.

1- Christmas in Bethlehem:

As the Church of the Nativity belongs to three Christian denominations, the Latin, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox denominations, Christmas is celebrated on three different dates every year. The Latin denomination celebrates Christmas on 25th December. Many thousands of tourists from(...)

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Greek Orthodox Baptismal Rites

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 23.01.2007:

The Baptismal Rites according to the Greek Orthodox are as follows:

Prayers are held in the church or at home for this purpose. The priest holds the child naked and completely immerses him in the lukewarm water which is placed in the baptismal font made of stone or metal. Then he draws the sign of the cross with holy oil on the head and other parts of the child's body. Next the priest (...)

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Denominational Rights and Religious Rites

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 23.01.2007:

Every denomination retaining rights in the Church of the Nativity is most careful to defend these rights. The (status quo) is minutely applied owing to the great holiness and importance of the place.

The part of the Church of the Nativity which is under the control of the Greek Orthodox is supervised and defended by a Bishop or an Archimandrite as well as assistants including deacons a(...)

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