Thursday Headlines

Today’s headlines are focused on the celebration of Christmas – or, in some cases, prohibitions on marking the Christian holiday.

Christmas In Bethlehem
Nestled in the heart of Israel, the town of Bethlehem attracts thousands of Christian pilgrims every year and in many instances is not unlike any other town on the 25th of December. But in a year that has seen renewed violence between Israelis and Palestinians, the ongoing conflict casts a shadow over the Palestinian town.

Christmas In Beijing – A Warning Of Possible Terror Attacks
The U.S. Embassy warned American citizens they could be the targets of unspecified “threats” in a popular shopping destination in the Chinese capital.

“The U.S. Embassy has received information of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitun area of Beijing, on or around Christmas Day.  U.S. citizens are urged to exercise heightened vigilance,” read the statement from the U.S. embassy.

Similar warnings were issued by other Western nations, according to Reuters.

Christmas In Brunei
Tucked between Malaysia and the South China Sea, the tiny nation of Brunei is largely Muslim and last year the sultan decided to impose sharia law and to ban any open celebration of Christmas.

Even just wearing Santa hats or displaying festive decorations is viewed as tantamount to imitation of another faith, prohibited in some interpretations of Islam. Violating this law can result in a fine of $20,000 or up to five years in prison, or both.

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