As international calls for justice for Bethlehem mount again at Christmastide, Australian church leaders returned from a visit to their region have added their voices to those supporting the beleagured city of Jesus' birth.
An all-star concert in London on 7 December 2007 will highlight the plight of the people of Bethlehem this Christmas, as they live in social isolation and impoverishment as a result of the separation wall built by Israel.
Nearly 40 leaders from a broad coalition of US Christian denominations have sent a letter to President George W. Bush asking that he "make Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, in the context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace initiative" a priority for his administration.
A television documentary following British church leaders on a recent pre-Christmas 'pilgrimage of peace' to the Israel Palestine ‚Ä' and particularly Bethlehem, traditionally held to be the birthplace of Jesus ‚Ä' is due to be screened this weekend.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has told the people of Bethlehem that neither they, nor the pressures that they live under are forgotten in the West. During a pilgrimage to Bethlehem where he has joined three other senior English church leaders, Dr Williams addressed the city's civic representatives, stressing that problems had to be solved by people working together.
Though their government plays a determinative role in the region, most Americans are not too sure about where Bethlehem is and who lives there. Many believe that is an Israeli town inhabited by a mixture of Jews and Muslims, a pre-Christmas survey of US perceptions of the city has shown - reports Independent Catholic News.
The upcoming English church leaders' visit to Bethlehem reminds us that the world is mired in violence and insecurity, and that it is in just such a world that God came to accompany us in Jesus, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said in a talk for BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought today.
Anglican, Catholic, Free Church and Orthodox leaders in England are asking parish churches and local congregations throughout the country to pray for ‚Äòthe little town of Bethlehem' as they approach the final week of Advent ‚Ä' the Church's season of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.