Christmas in the Holy Land — somber, yet triumphant

Christianity is dying in its birthplace.

Nazareth, a predominantly Christian Arab town within living memory, is now mostly Muslim, and — though few realize it because the writing is in Arabic — tourists visiting the massive Roman Catholic Basilica of the Annunciation are confronted by banners denying the deity of Christ.

Bethlehem was 85 percent Arab Christian when the state of Israel was proclaimed in 1948. Now the city's Christian population has fallen to perhaps 10 percent.

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