Worshippers throng to Jerusalem for Palm Sunday

AP News
Posted: Mar 24, 2013 12:03 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Christians in Jerusalem are marking Palm Sunday, the start of the Catholic Holy Week that concludes with Easter.

Crowds of faithful gathered into Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Many waved palm fronds to symbolize how worshippers greeted Jesus over 2,000 years ago as he triumphantly returned to Jerusalem.

Mostly Palestinian worshippers gathered in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, traditional site of Jesus' birth, clutching olive branches and bouquets as they sung in praise.

There are some 50,000 Palestinian Christians, a tiny minority among a mostly Muslim society. They must obtain military permission to enter Jerusalem, and a Palestinian official said most applicants had their requests rejected. Military spokesman Guy Inbar said they had issued 20,000 permits so far.