We will also be happy to inform you about world events on public holidays and between the years. Holiday wishes also come from the Federal Chancellor and numerous traffic light ministers.
At Christmas, Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized the importance of cohesion in society, especially in times of crisis. "At Christmas we all feel what community and cohesion is - especially after this challenging year," Scholz wrote on Twitter. The SPD politician wished everyone a happy holiday with family and friends. At the same time he thanked those who are working these days.
Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach also recalled that many people in the healthcare system are there for the patients over the holidays and thanked them for their commitment via Twitter. "Without people like you, our society could not function," emphasized Lauterbach.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner wrote on Twitter thanking the workers on Christmas Eve: "You keep our country running." The FDP chairman wished you a peaceful, happy and relaxing holiday. "After this 2022 we can certainly all use that," he added. "The year 2022 was a difficult year for many people," Lindner made clear in another tweet. His party colleague, Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann, wrote on Twitter that the year 2022 was a "bad burden" for many. "But the "hot autumn" that so many demagogues from the right and left were counting on didn't materialize. Our country is doing better than many had predicted," explained the FDP politician.
Christians from all over the world celebrated Christmas in the Holy Land. The traditional Christmas procession arrived in Bethlehem in the afternoon. The wagon convoy, led by the head of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, had set out from Jerusalem. The Patriarch walked the last part of the way to Manger Square in Bethlehem. There he was received by Christian representatives. Unlike in the past two years, when strict corona restrictions still applied, tens of thousands of visitors are expected over the Christmas holidays. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism has prepared for around 120,000 pilgrims from all over the world.
A giant Christmas tree with a star at the top adorns Manger Square in front of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The small West Bank town is revered as the birthplace of Jesus. Pizzaballa would later celebrate midnight mass there. In their Christmas message, the representatives of various churches in the Holy Land complained about an increase in attacks on Christians and discrimination. "This discouraging atmosphere has created hopelessness, especially among our Christian youth," the message said. They no longer felt welcome in the land of their ancestors, and many of them left the region. Therefore, the proportion of Christians has continued to fall. Of around five million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, less than two percent are Christians. According to the most recent information from the Israeli Bureau of Statistics, around 185,000 Arab Christians live in Israel, making up around 1.9 percent of the population. Israel has a total of around 9.6 million inhabitants, around three quarters of whom are Jews.