Tension in the Church of The Nativity (Bethlehem) In All Its Glory.

The Church of the Nativity (Arabic: كنيسة المهد‎) in Bethlehem is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. The structure is built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, and it is considered sacred by followers of both Christianity and Islam (see Jesus in Islam). The antiquity of this tradition is attested by the Christian apologist Justin Martyr (c. 100 – 165), who noted in his Dialogue with Trypho that the Holy Family had taken refuge in a cave outside of town: Joseph took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him.(chapter LXXVIII). Origen of Alexandria (185 AD–ca. 254) wrote: In Bethlehem the cave is pointed out where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. And the rumor is in those places, and among foreigners of the Faith, that indeed Jesus was born in this cave who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians. (Contra Celsum, book I, chapter LI). View of The Church of the Nativity from Manger Square. The first basilica on this site was begun by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine I. Under the supervision of Bishop Makarios of Jerusalem, the construction started in 327 and was completed in 333. That structure was burnt down in the Samaritan Revolt of 529. The current basilica was rebuilt in its present form
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