Churches to deliver Christmas notes to Bethlehem

GENEVA (AP) -- The World Council of Churches will help deliver Christmas messages and prayers of peace to the biblical birthplace of Jesus.

Christianity's largest ecumenical movement says messages e-mailed before the Jan. 7 Christmas celebrated by Orthodox Christians will be printed and handed out at schools and places of worship in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The council said Tuesday the messages are appreciated by people in Bethlehem who refuse to give up hope for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. It said e-mails should be sent to the Arab Educational Initiative, which does social work in Bethlehem.

The council brings together about 350 Protestant, Orthodox and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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