The outstanding universal value of Bethlehem to humanity is unquestionable. It has been, and continues to be, a focus of Christian tradition and worship throughout the centuries. Bethlehem, as well as Jerusalem, is the spiritual heart of the Christian world; Christmas, one of the most widely-celebrated religious festival in the world, is based on the birth story of Jesus, which took place in this little town more than 2000 years ago. Jesus’ role as Issa, the divinely inspired prophet in Islamic belief, is equally significant and underscores the sanctity of the place to many people of faith.
The World Heritage Committee has inscribed during its 36th Session held in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation (26 June to 4 July), Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem, Palestine on UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger List.
Bethlehem is on top of a list of inventory of twenty cultural and natural heritage sites of potential outstanding value that reflects the cultural and natural diversity of Palestine and have the potential to become on UNESCO’s World Heritage List too.