On May 7, 2023, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II arrived to Bethlehem in the Holy Land.
He was received by the Prime Minister of Palestine His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, and the Minister of Tourism and Archeology Her Excellency Mrs. Roula Maayah, the Governor of Bethlehem, as well as the representatives of the Christian Churches.
His Holiness entered the city amisdt the official procession where the scouts welcomed him and officials greeted him as he walked from the city’s center to the church of the Nativity in the midst of the acclamations of the faithful.
He was received by monks, priests, deacons, and delegations from representatives of the Christian churches from the Holy Land.
Then, His Holiness entered the Church of Nativity where he prayed the special services for the intercession of the Virgin Mary and the saints. He also blessed the people.
Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, Jordan and the Holy Land, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Beqaa, Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, Mor Boutros Kassis, Archbishop of Aleppo and Environs, Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for Monks Affairs and the Administration of Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya, Mor Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Assistant, Mor Christophoros Markose, Patriarchal Secretary for the Affairs of the Church in India, Very Rev. Raban Andrawos Bahhi, Director of Youth Department, and Very Rev. Raban Augeen Al Khoury Nemat, Patriarchal Secretary, accompanied His Holiness during this visit.