The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
Bela Taraseiskey, Church of the Nativity, ©2008, Collage and acrylic, 12 x 16 inches
The Church of the Nativity is the oldest church in the Holy Land still in use, commemorating the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Since St. Helena is believed to have built the Church of the Nativity, there are others who believe that it was the Emperor Constantine who ordered the construction of monumental churches to honor the three principal events of Jesus' life. The church is administered jointly by Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic authorities. All three traditions maintain monastic communities on the site. Crowds throng the Church during the Greek Orthodox Ceremony of Holy Fire.