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  • Thanks to extensive renovations, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem – long believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ – has been removed from UNESCO’s list of endangered sites.

    a large stone building: Saint Catherine Church Nativity Church Bethlehem West Bank Palestine © bpperry iStock / Getty Images Plus Saint Catherine Church Nativity Church Bethlehem West Bank Palestine

    The Palestinian Authority conceived the renovation in 2012 after the site was added to the endangered list. The church was said to have been built over the cave where Jesus was born, some 300 years after his birth.

    The Church of the Nativity needed work on its roof, doors, exterior, broken windows and its interior floor mosaics

    UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee removed it from the endangered list due to “the high quality of work carried out.”

    Bethlehem has long been a religious tourism experience for thousands who travel to the Israeli-occupied West Bank to see the site. Officials are hoping the renovation entices further tourism to the area.

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