Tony Blair's Leap of Faith

Britain's former Prime Minister has finally found a cause that allows him to wear his religion on his sleeve. His biggest challenge may be to bridge the gap between secular Europe and a world of believers

Nick Danziger / NB Pictures for TIME

Tony Blair

In 1910, when Bethlehem was a town in a sleepy province of the Ottoman Empire, a local man built a magnificent house on the main road from Jerusalem to Hebron. Made from the region's limestone—whose shades, from pale honey to dazzling white, give the Holy Land its distinctive palette—the house was built around courtyards and fountains in the Ottoman style; frescoes and mosaics graced its walls and ceilings. In the 1930s, the man's family went bankrupt. The house was later used as a prison by the British, when they governed Palestine under a League of Nations mandate; it then did...

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