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For the first time ever… Palm Sunday procession canceled over coronavirus fears

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem canceled the annual event to prevent the spread of the virus

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem announced that the Palm Sunday procession, which was intended to take place in occupied Jerusalem next Sunday, will be canceled to protect people amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Palestine.

Thousands of Christians from Palestine and all around the world take part in the annual event.

The Patriarchate assured in a statement that the decision was made “to protect the participants of our Palestinian people from the spread of the coronavirus and in accordance with the health regulations in this regard.”

The spokesman for the Council of Catholic Church Presidents in the Holy Land, Wadi’ Abu Nassar, told QNN that the cancelation of the major event affected everyone and it is very sad.

Abu Nassar added that “there are ongoing consultations with civil authorities to consider all the possibilities of performing prayers and finding a way to allow the people to perform their prayers.”

“The condition is harsh for everyone. How would it be possible for a procession, in which thousands of Christian men, women, and children take part, to be held with the participation of few monks! The well being of the people, however, is the priority of the Church.”

Abu Nassar reassured that performing all prayers is impossible. Prayers will be performed, however, with the participation of a few religious leaders amid precautionary measures. All prayers will be broadcasted either online or on TV. channels or on both of them.

Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Holding palm branches, the participants walk from Beit Fadj in At Tur to Jerusalem as they enter the city from Al Asbat gate and walk to the Church of Saint Anne.

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