Palestinians blame WND for Bethlehem religious rift

The pali’s just can’t figure out why life is not so good these days. I think these people will always be in the dark.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 New International Version (NIV)

JERUSALEM – An article published Sunday by WorldNetDaily quoting Bethlehem residents as saying local Muslim persecution prompted tens of thousands of Christians to flee the city is “all lies” and the “kind of American reporting [that] is the real reason for any rift between Muslims and Christians,” a major Palestinian newspaper stated yesterday, claiming inter-religious relations in Bethlehem “have never been better.”
“There is no problem between Christians and Muslims in Bethlehem, but any problem that may exist is because of this kind of article in the American media,” stated a piece in the Al Manar Palestinian daily.
The Palestinian paper went on to quote several sections of WND’s article, “Muslim grinches steal Bethlehem Christmas,” calling the report “all lies. This is an effort to separate Christians and Muslims in Bethlehem.”
WND reported many Christians in Bethlehem say they face constant Muslim hostility, prompting the Christian population to decline from 90 percent of the city to the current demographic of less than 25 percent. The drastic decline started in 1995, the year the Palestinian Authority took control of Bethlehem.
The WND article came after world leaders took the occasion of Bethlehem’s Christmas Eve Mass to blame Israel’s recently constructed security fence in the area for Christian woes, and followed scores of American media reports about this past weekend’s festivities that seemed to find Israel’s fence mostly at fault for low tourist turnout at Christmas celebrations and the lower Christian population figures.
Christmas celebrations this year attracted about 30,000 tourists – 10,000 more than last year but down from an average of 150,000 in 1994.
“All this talk about Israel driving Christians out and causing pain is nonsense,” a Bethlehem Christian community leader told WND this past weekend. “You want to know what is at play here, just come throughout the year and see the intimidation from the Muslims. They have burned down our stores, built mosques in front of our churches, stole our real estate and took away our rights. Women have been raped and abducted. So don’t tell me about Israel. It’s the Muslims.”
The Bethlehem leader, like many Christians on the streets of the city, would not provide his name for publication for fear of retaliation.
One religious novelty-store owner cited examples of Muslim gangs defacing Christian property, the PA replacing Christian leaders on public councils with Muslims and armed Palestinian factions stirring tensions. One such incident was last week’s storming of Bethlehem’s City Hall, across the street from the Church of the Nativity, believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, by gunmen from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group.
But Al Manar claimed: “Relations between Christians and Muslims in Bethlehem have never been better. Even though Muslims now compose the vast majority of Bethlehem, the PA still allows the Christians to hold 7 out of 13 municipality seats.”
The Bethlehem Christian store owner, though, disagreed.
“We are harassed but you wouldn’t know the truth. No one says anything publicly about the Muslims.”

Read the rest here.
See the original article here.
See my original post here.

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