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Palestinians Orthodox Christian mark Holy Saturday

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Ap0pales0A2300000000005peg(PNIC) - Orthodox Christian Palestinians marked Holy Saturday across the occupied Palestinian territory on Saturday, with thousands of pilgrims attending the "Holy Fire" ceremony in East Jerusalem's Old City on the eve of Orthodox Easter.
The ceremony, celebrated by Palestinian Christians across the Holy Land, takes place each year on "Holy Saturday," or "Saturday of Light" in Arabic, marking the day following Good Friday, when Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified in Jerusalem, and the day before Easter, which marks his resurrection from the grave.
Palestinian Christians as well as Eastern Orthodox Christians from around the world believe that on the Saturday between these two holidays, a divine fire from heaven appears above his tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Believers hold that this fire ignites candles held by the Greek Orthodox patriarch, in an annual rite dating back to the 4th century that symbolizes the resurrection of Christ.
Every year, thousands gather in Jerusalem's Old City to welcome the fire, which is subsequently brought to churches in Palestinian towns and villages throughout the Holy Land.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the public on Saturday, expressing his commitment to defend the Christian population in Palestine while emphasizing the importance of ending Israel’s occupation.
“Defending the Christian presence in Palestine and the Eastern World is our duty and we won’t hesitate to defend the unity and diversity of our peoples,” the president said in a message published by Wafa news agency to congratulate Christians on the occasion of Easter.
President Abbas addressed Armenians, Assyrians, Copts, Ethiopians, and “all believers” in his message, while expressing his hopes for the end of the now decades-long military occupation.
“As we celebrate the resurrection holiday this year, we continue to believe in the justness of our cause and to hope that the Palestinian people will eventually be freed from the arrogance of occupation so they can enjoy dignity, freedom, and peace of mind on our homeland and holy places.”
Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Holy Saturday celebrations in occupied East Jerusalem ended peacefully around noon, with no security issues reported.
Representing a small minority of the Palestinian population, Christians in Palestine are a prominent part of social and political life, and have positioned themselves in the center of the resistance against Israeli occupation and the construction of the separation wall.

 
 
 
 
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