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You're reading: Hundreds pack Bethlehem church for Christmas Mass
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Worshippers on Sunday rushed into the Church of the Nativity under the cover of umbrellas, leaving Manger Square, with its 50-foot-tall (15-meter-tall) Christmas tree, deserted.

Inside the bustling church, supplicants — many of them foreign — raised their voices in prayer, kissed a plaster statue of Baby Jesus and took communion.

On Christmas Eve, the turnout in Bethlehem was at its highest since a violent uprising against Israel drove away tourism more than a decade ago.

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