May 22, 2024

Christian pilgrims continued to visit holy sites in Israel this weekend, despite the ongoing war against Hamas and the massive missile attack by Iran.

The post PHOTOS: Christian Pilgrims Flock to Israel’s Holy Sites, Defying Fears of War appeared first on Breitbart.

GALILEE, Israel — Christian pilgrims continued to visit holy sites in Israel this weekend, despite the ongoing war against Hamas and the massive missile attack by Iran against Israel on Saturday night into Sunday.

Light streams through the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, April 13, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

There were long lines — shorter than usual, but long nonetheless — at stations within the Church of the Holy Sepuchre on Saturday, as pilgrims knelt in prayer or marveled in awe, seeing and feeling a physical connection to their faith.

Christian pilgrims worship at Golgotha, or Calvary, traditionally the site of the Crucifixion, within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel, April 13, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Christian pilgrims also visited holy sites in the city of Bethlehem, which is located within the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

Christians have been subjected to social and political pressure in Bethlehem as they have become a minority, relative to Muslims, and they have suffered from the Palestinian Authority’s policies as well. However, neither that history, nor the ongoing threat of terror, kept pilgrims and tourists from visiting this weekend.

Christian pilgrims pay their respects at the traditional site of the birth of Jesus, in the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority, April 14, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Even Muslim tourists — from countries such as Turkey, or neighboring Palestinian communities — visited the Christian holy sites in Bethlehem, paying their respects to one of the faiths from which Islam draws inspiration.

On Sunday, just hours after Iran launched more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel, the scene at the Sea of Galilee — the setting for much of the New Testament — was peaceful, with a serene and beautiful sunrise heralding a new day.

Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee, hours after the Iranian attack on Israel was defected, April 14, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

The nearby holy sites, such as the Church of the Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount; and the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, where Jesus lived and preached; were quiet, but a few of the faithful still came.

The Church of the Beatitudes sits serenely above the Sea of Galilee just hours after Iran attacked Israel, April 14, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Christian worship continued as usual throughout these sites, including St. Joseph’s Church and the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the mountain town in Israel where Jesus grew up and where many Israeli Arabs live today.

Israel is hoping that tourism, which has slowed dramatically since the Hamas terror attack of October 7, will revive when the war ends.

But for the Christian faithful, there is no fear: no war will stop them from reaching their goal.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.