Time Essay: BUILDING A NEW JERUSALEM

CHRISTMAS in the Holy Land is an occasion that strains piety. For one thing, it is not one festival but three —Dec. 25 for Roman Catholics and Protestants, Jan. 7 for the Orthodox churches and Jan. 19 for Armenian Christians. More disconcerting, the details for the rites on these separate feast days that celebrate the birth of Jesus are spelled out in a 75-page, three-language manual whose rules are enforced by Israeli military authorities. That is one of the more delicate tasks undertaken by the new rulers of old Jerusalem, who have essayed the...

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