As Easter and Passover approach, the Holy Land’s coronavirus lockdown resumes.
The lockdown measures against the coronavirus outbreak has been extended for 30 more days, which means all the Easter gatherings and celebrations will not take place this year (which is something that didn't happen in years.)
Palestinians have been under lockdown for three weeks. Almost every single shop and restaurant have shut down, and people are not allowed to leave their homes at all after 7 PM. However, they are only allowed to leave for a quick visit to a supermarket for essential needs before that time.
In the Holy Land, Easter is on 12 April - a week later for Eastern Orthodox churches - Passover begins on 8 April.
Many churches in the Holy Land are livestreaming their masses on YouTube and Facebook. We all must remember our responsibility to protect, care for, and heal our community and environment.
While all major world religions are limiting large gatherings and physical contact to halt the transmission of Covid-19, Ramadan Friday prayers have also been suspended in the Holy Land as a result.
This is such a once-in-a-life situation for this time of the year would be filled with pilgrims from all over the world who join the local Christians to celebrate the Holy Week.
The one thing that didn't change this year is fasting. Easter in the Holy land starts with fasting as our Savior did for forty days. The fasting symbolizes the compassion and sympathy of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
This Easter is our time to remember that Jesus bore the stripes of pain and suffering, he bowed under the weight of the cross, he shed his blood, and he entered the tomb.
In addition, it is our time to celebrate that he broke the bonds of death and rose to live forever, although we'll have to do it under quarantine.
Let’s remember his sacrifice for us by the power given to him by our heavenly father to overcome death, he has proven that when we trust in the Lord, there can’t be any death.
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit" - (1 Peter 3:18).
We, the Bethlehem Handicrafts’ team, are so proud to put the Holy Land in your hand by giving you a variety of the best and the most outstanding original Bethlehem’s olive wood carvings with the best quality made in the Holy Land.