Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.
Tens of thousands of pilgrims descended on Bethlehem in the days leading up to Christmas. Despite ongoing repairs to the Church of the Nativity, pilgrims have been able to access the church, built atop the traditional site of Jesus's birth. In Manger Square (pictured here), adjoining the church, the Palestinian Authority erected a large Christmas tree, nativity scene and Christmas decorations. RNS photo by Michele Chabin