For years, Palestinian Christians have been quietly abandoning the place where Jesus is said to have been born. Vera Baboun, Bethlehem’s first female mayor, wants to make her West Bank city open to all — former residents and tourists alike.
Dec. 18, 2013A priest swings a thurible during a service at the Church of the Nativity, revered as the site of Jesus’s birth, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. For years, Palestinian Christians had been quietly abandoning the town; a decade ago, tourism had ground to a half, but it is experiencing a comeback. Efforts to stem the Christian emigration have gone more slowly.Ammar Awad/Reuters