Obama is Bethlehem-bound

The president’s next stop is the West Bank city of Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus.

As he drives, the president will pass — and will probably not notice — one of Judaism’s holiest sites, as the TOI’s Mitch Ginsburg reports. That would be Rachel’s Tomb, currently hidden behind concrete walls to protect worshipers from Palestinian attacks.

The ancient church was built 1,500 years ago on the site of a church 200 years older than that. Three Christian sects — Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Armenians — share the building.

Last year, the church became the first monument under the control of the Palestinian Authority to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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