Muslim, Jewish, and Christian religious festivals were celebrated freely in Palestine prior to the Nakba. These photos show a Christian festival outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1890 and a Christian procession near the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem in 1920. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre marks where Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified and the location of his tomb. The Church of Nativity marks where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born. In 1950, the residents of Bethlehem and its surrounding villages were approximately 86% Christian; by 2016, sixty-eight years after the Nakba, the Christian population dropped to just 12%.
Crowds of Christians gather at a religious festival outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Palestine, 1890. Via SacredFootSteps.org
This photo shows a Christmas procession near the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, 1920. “Religious festivals have been freely celebrated in Palestine for centuries.” Credit: Library of Congress. Via MiddleEastEye.net