Authorities in the northern Israeli city of Haifa are preparing for possible conflicts resulting from the fact that Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown on Friday, coincides this year with the Eastern Orthodox Feast of the Cross.
Haifa is known for its multi-religious population, with several Jewish, Muslim and Christian neighborhoods existing in close proximity. The shrine and world center of the Bahá’í faith is also located in Haifa.
Though Yom Kippur for Jews is a solemn day of fasting and prayer, Christians celebrate the Feast of the Cross with parades, fireworks, and carnivals. Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav met with Archbishop Elias Chacour about Yom Kippur and the Feast of the Cross falling on the same day, and Christian leaders are also coordinating with Haifa police to maintain security during both religious observances.
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