News & Politics

What Did They Just Find in the Church of the Nativity?

(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Well, this is interesting:

A mysterious religious artifact has surfaced during renovations at Bethlehem’s famous Church of the Nativity, officials say.

According to the Times of Israel, the artifact is made of brass, silver, shells and stones. It was covered in plaster and found near a window in the church that reportedly was built by Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena in the fourth century. Although officials confirmed that the artifact has been cleaned up, it is not on display, and there are no images of it as yet.

Ziad al-Bandak, a Palestinian presidential adviser for Christian Affairs, said the artifact is, “of great religious and historical value.”

The church itself is built over the cave where the birth of Jesus is said to have taken place. Considered to be one of Christianity’s holiest sites, the present day building is listed as endangered by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency. Over the centuries, the building fell into disrepair and is undergoing a vast and costly renovation in order to save it.

No pictures available yet. Constantine was Rome’s first Christian emperor, whose adoption of the new faith changed the course of western history. And the Church of the Nativity, of course, is said to have been built on the spot where Jesus was born. If it’s all just a silly superstition, a) it’s been going on for a very long time and b) it sure has fooled a lot of people.