is a town in northern Israel. Has a population of about 60,000,
of whom half are Arab Muslim and half are Arab Christian. Nazareth
was the hometown of Jesus and thus is one of the most important
Christian sites in the Holy Land. Important sights in Nazareth
include several churches, traditional biblical sites, Byzantine
ruins, and especially the modern Basilica of the Annunciation.
mountainous walled city Jerusalem is sacred to the three
great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam -
which means it is sacred to more than a third of the world's
population. For Jews, Jerusalem is the site of the Temple, now in
ruins except for the Western Wall; for Christians, it is the site of
Christ's death and resurrection; for Muslims, it is the site of the
Prophet's night journey to heaven. Jerusalem is therefore a major
site of pilgrimage for all three religions.
Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judean desert just 5 miles
south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is the childhood home of the
biblical King David. It is also the birthplace of Jesus Christ and
has been a major site of Christian pilgrimage since the construction
of the Church of the Nativity.