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ILL. For many years a large silver star adorned the top of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. One day back in the 1800’s, the Roman Catholic Church, which shares a part of the building with a Greek Orthodox Church, decided to take down the silver star & replace it with their own star. But the Greek Orthodox church refused to let them do that.

The Greek Orthodox Church was supported by Russia, & the Roman Catholic Church was supported by France. But it was Turkey who actually ruled over Palestine at that time. When Turkey sided with the Roman Catholic Church, Russia declared war on Turkey. Immediately France & England allied themselves with Turkey, & fought what history calls the Crimean War which lasted from 1853 - 1856. At the end of that war the star came down.

Isn’t it ironic that in the very place of the birth of the Prince of Peace there has almost always been conflict & war? And when TV cameras take you to Bethlehem this Christmas season you will have to notice the armed soldiers who are watching over the crowds that gather to worship the Prince of Peace.

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