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.
A 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.