A drone’s eye view of the Holy Land

For the Christian faithful, the Biblical journey and legacy of Jesus are written in stonework and monuments across the landscape, straddling modern political faultlines.

But modern pandemics, like ancient plagues, are no respecters of political and belief systems. For a year the Christian sites of the Holy Land, like the sacred places of Judaism and Islam, were under varying degrees of lockdown or restriction, and bereft of foreign pilgrims.

Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, was the first area in the occupied Palestinian Territories to be forced into lockdown just before Easter last year, closing the Church of the Nativity.

Other churches followed soon afterwards, including Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre, built over the sites where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

"Death is stalking a lot all over the world," a despondent Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa told Reuters a year ago on Good Friday, known to Palestinian Christians as Sad Friday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting