JERUSALEM — The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem visited the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Saturday for Christmas celebrations, but he did not receive a warm reception.

Protesters lobbed eggs at Patriarch Theophilos III's convoy, while one woman beat a car with a shoe. The patriarch was visiting Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity for services to mark Orthodox Christmas Eve. Christmas falls on Jan. 7 for most of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The church, a major land owner, is entangled in a dispute over property sales. Its majority Palestinian congregation is infuriated that it is selling off or leasing tracts of land, in some cases to Israeli or Jewish-owned companies. There have been calls for Theophilos to resign.

Our Jerusalem reporter Ruth Eglash wrote about the issue last month.