Christmas celebrations cancelled in Jesus' hometown, Nazareth

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Mayor Ali Salam pointed to Trump's December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital - which sparked violent protests and a call from Hamas for an uprising against Israel - as the reason for canceling all holiday plans. "Just as every year, the city is decorated for the holiday and we are excited to receive the tens of thousands of visitors who will arrive, and to give them a festive and special experience".

Nazareth, a Muslim-majority city in Israel where Christians believe Jesus was raised, has officially canceled its Christmas celebrations this year.

"Our identity and faith can not be bargained", said Ali Salam, the town's mayor, on Thursday, according to a Fox News translation of 10 News. Most residents are Arab citizens of Israel.

"We have made a decision to cancel the traditional Christmas singing and dancing because we are in a time of dispute, because of what Trump has said about Jerusalem", added city spokesperson Salem Sharara.

Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam said the U.S. move "has taken away the joy of the holiday".

Evangelical Christians in the U.S. were a driving force behind recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but Christian leaders across the world denounced the move. "Nazareth is the city of peace and brotherhood between religions and nations, and there is nothing like the spirit of the holiday and the shared experience to prove it".

According to the Bible, the city of Nazareth is where the archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary she would bear the saviour, making it one Christianity's holiest sites.

Pope Francis also voiced opposition to the move, saying he could not remain silent.

In an address last Wednesday from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that, after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue.

"God is weeping over President Donald Trump's inflammatory and discriminatory recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel", Tutu, an outspoken advocate for Palestinians, said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.

He also called the U.Trump a backstabbing "wretch".