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The seasonal journey to Bethlehem is complicated by modern politics

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A nun prays in the Grotto of the Church of the Nativity, December 21, 2009 in Bethlehem.

Uriel Sinai/Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

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A girl runs between the poles of the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by many to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

MUHAMMED MUHEISEN/Muhammed Muheisen / AP

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A visitor prays at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, December 21, 2009.

Uriel Sinai/Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

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Pilgrims gather in Bethlehem's Grotto of the Nativity, where tradition holds Jesus was born, as midnight approaches on Christmas Eve. The small, cave-like space would fit in many Canadians' living room.

Janine Murphy

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