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Peace Light from Bethlehem defies Coronavirus

Thu, 24 Dec 2020 | By NNA staff

Despite Covid-19, the Peace Light is on its way again this year. The ceremony sending the Light into the world was livestreamed from Salzburg Cathedral. NNA would also like to wish all our readers a peaceful festive period.


Photo: Cornelie Unger-Leistner

SALZBURG  (NNA) – The Peace Light once again set out from Bethlehem on its way to around 20 countries last weekend, the third of Advent – despite the Corona pandemic. “No pandemic in the world can extinguish the Christmas light,” Günther Madlberger of Austrian broadcaster ORF quoted Pope Francis on arrival of the Peace Light in Salzburg Cathedral.

Despite the distancing rules, the Peace Light brings people together, spreads hope, optimism and comfort and brings encouragement. The celebration in the cathedral in Salzburg could be followed on the Internet via livestream.

The motto of this year's Peace Light campaign was “Peace overcomes borders”. The “Peace Light from Bethlehem” initiative, which has existed for 35 years, was initiated by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF. The light is lit by a child in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Bethlehem, brought to Austria by plane and distributed from Vienna throughout the world by international scout organisations.

This year, the Peace Light was received in the cathedral in Salzburg only by scout delegations from Austria. Candles were lit for the 20 or so participating countries. The Austrian scouts then passed on the Peace Light at the borders of the country.

"Glimmers of comfort, hope and love".

Especially in these difficult times of the pandemic, “we need a glimmer of light of comfort, hope and love,” the Archbishop of Salzburg, Dr Franz Lackner, emphasised in his address, thanking the scouts for their commitment in passing on the Peace Light. The list of participating countries this time ranged from Austria, Germany and Ukraine to Argentina and the USA. The participating scout organisations were connected via the Internet and could thus all be seen everywhere for the first time.

After the celebration in Salzburg, the Peace Light was then taken by the Austrian scout organisations to the border, where it was accepted – at a distance– by the scout associations of the neighbouring countries.

END/nna/ung

Item: 201224-02EN Date: 24 December 2020

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