One of the holiest and iconic sites for Christianity, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, is getting closer to completing its renovation. The church is at the site where Jesus is believed to have been born over 2000 years ago. The grotto has not undergone a proper renovation since 1480.
The town is currently located in Israel-occupied West Bank. The grotto in the church holds great significance to Christians across the world. Palestinian Christian Said Khoury founded the Bethlehem Development Foundation to renovate the church. He died four years ago.
The BDF is working with the presidential commission for the restoration. CEO Mazen Karam said that the Palestinian government wanted to renovate the structure since 2008 but the work did not start till 2013 when Khoury intervened, reported Arab News.
He added that several earthquakes have caused damage to the church and there is deterioration on the roof, windows, and insulations. "The church is close to collapsing due to erosion."
Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian churches have to come to an agreement about every aspect of the renovation to carry it out. That makes the process complex, said Karam to Arab News.
The church was originally commissioned by Constantine the Great around the year 330. UNESCO has listed it as an endangered World Heritage Site. "The renovations will ensure that the Church of the Nativity survives for the next 2,000 years," he added.