A church appeal has been launched to support locals through the financial turmoil brought on by the outbreak of coronavirus, which last week prompted the Palestinian Authority to declare a state of emergency. The closure of the Church of Nativity and other tourist sites in Bethlehem due to the coronavirus is expected to have a “disastrous” impact on the local economy, including many Christians who rely on tourism for a living, a faith group has said.
Bethlehem had 25 cases of coronavirus as of Monday. In a bid to stem the spread of the deadly virus, all tourism and religious sites across the West Bank are closed. Tourists have also been banned for two weeks.
The appeal has been launched by Friends of the Holy Land in light of the lockdown.
“Whilst this precautionary action is understandable and reflects similar situations in other countries, the impact on the Bethlehem economy is expected to be disastrous, especially in the lead up to Easter one of the key tourism seasons for the city,” it said.
Its Bethlehem office reported that the lockdown is already having a “devastating impact on the lives of most Christians in Bethlehem”.
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Source: Christian Today