While all attention is Trump’s recent decision to move the US embassy to the city, many have forgotten Bethlehem, which lies in Occupied Palestine (and not in the modern state of Israel, as many believe).
It is going to be another dim Christmas in Occupied Bethlehem, just like it was two millennia ago, when it was also occupied – back then by the Roman Empire.
But in the midst of darkness and in the bleakest of situations, there is always hope – just as hope became a reality 2,000 years ago with the birth of Jesus.
We too live in dim times in Malaysia, which has to contend with numerous problems – political, human rights, economic, environmental…
But there is always hope for a new life, a new beginning, if we come together and berganding bahu and work for change at all levels, celebrating our diversity as a strength rather than a weakness. We have to wipe out rampant corruption and bigotry and promote care for the environment.
We can do it. The change begins with us. We may curse the darkness, but let’s also light a candle, celebrate each win along the way of the struggle, and never lose hope. In this time of celebration, let us remember the forgotten and the marginalised among us, the migrant workers, the refugees and displaced communities, those far from home.
Thank you for being with me during the year. I wish you and your loved ones a blessed and meaningful Christmas and a New Year with overflowing joy, peace, justice, and fulfilment.