Nazareth cancels Christmas

FILE - 2015 An Israeli Arab Christian boy dressed up as Santa Claus waits for the start of the annual Christmas parade in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, Israel. (Ariel Schalit, File)

The mayor of Nazareth, the town Christians believe to be the childhood home of Jesus, canceled all planned artistic events according to a report by The Times of Israel. The move is in protest to President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

FILE: 2015 - Christian actors play the parts of Joseph and Mary in a Nativity scene as part of Christmas festivities in the city of Nazareth


Mayor Ali Salam, a Muslim, ordered all artistic events to be canceled -- including a festival and large Christmas market.

"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate," Salam told The Times of Israel. "The decision [by Donald Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel festivities this year."

The residents of Nazareth are primarily Arab citizens of Israel. Nearly 70 percent are Muslim and about 30 percent are Christian.

FILE: 2015 Israeli Arab Christians dressed up as Santa Claus wait for the start of the annual Christmas parade in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth, Israel, on Christmas Eve.


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