Muted Christmas in Nazareth in Protest Against Trump's Jerusalem Declaration

Muslim mayor of Nazareth uses Christmas to protest US’ Jerusalem move

Christmas celebrations in Nazareth - Jesus' childhood hometown, according to Christian belief - have been canceled to protest the USA president's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is one of the holiest cities for Christians because it is where they believe Angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary she would give birth to Jesus.

"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate", Salam said at a Thursday press conference.

The residents of Nazareth are primarily Arab citizens of Israel.

Nazareth is traditionally thought to be where Jesus grew up.

Some Christmas celebrations have reportedly been canceled in Nazareth as a protest against President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Approximately 69 percent of the Arab town's 76,000 inhabitants are Muslims and 30 percent are Christians.

Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Ali Salam, the Muslim mayor of the Arab Christian city of Nazareth, released a statement announcing that Trump's decision on Jerusalem last week required him to show solidarity with the Palestinian Authority.

The statement also said that the Trump speech took away "all joy" from the upcoming holidays, implying there was no point in celebrating.

"(Cancelling the celebrations) will harm the city's economy as well interfaith relations.

The cancelation will cost the historic town severely as the annual festivities-including a Christmas market, a parade, and multiple concerts-draw tens of thousands of pilgrims.

The Palestinian towns of Bethlehem - the biblical birthplace of Jesus - and Ramallah briefly turned off their Christmas lights within an hour of the Nazareth announcement, Reuters said, adding that there's no word if Bethlehem also is considering scaling back its celebrations.

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