Christians within the Kingdom of Jordan will celebrate the birth of Christ quietly in 2023, in respect of the immense loss of life in the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. The move will eschew outward Christmas celebrations, while services will still take place in churches, albeit in a sober atmosphere.
According to Agenza Fides, the move to cancel Christmas festivities was initiated by the Council of Church Leaders in Jordan, a group that works to maintain interfaith relations in one of the most diverse nations in the Middle East. In 2023, there will be no holiday markets, no caroling or other street musical performances, no concerts or parades, and no public distribution of gifts to children.
While there will be no outward celebrations of the Christmas season, Christian churches will continue to hold Christmas services. Father Rifat Bader, director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in the Jordanian capital, commented that churches will “focus on the spiritual meaning of Christmas.”
“We will focus only on the religious celebration, including worship services and songs inside the churches and nothing outside the churches,” Father Bader explained.
Father Bader went on to highlight the heroic efforts of two nuns from the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, who are serving injured and displaced people taking refuge in Holy Family Parish, in Gaza.
Visit Florida Catholic to read more about these religious women’s selfless works in a time of war.