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Basilica of the Annunciation

Daily Pic: 

An entrance to the Basilica of the Annunciation (כנסיית הבשורה), Nazareth, Israel.

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth is a modern Catholic church built over the remains of Byzantine and Crusader churches. It incorporates the cave in which the Virgin Mary received the news from Gabriel that she would give birth to Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago a 1,700-year-old mosaic floor was uncovered by a team of American and Israeli archaeologists beneath the courtyard of the church. The mosaic was created at the time the mother of Constantine the Great, Helena, came to Israel directing the construction of churches there, some 250 years before the birth of Muhammad.

There are about 25000 Christians in Nazareth, 30% of the city's predominantly muslim population. The Arabic name for Nazareth is an-Nāṣira, referring to the followers of Jesus (naṣārā). As you can see from the top picture, the muslims are not very tolerant of their Christian brothers, reminding them of the errors of their ways every step of the way.

BTW, that black poster you see on the wall is used as the ISIS flag, they usually display it prominently during public beheadings, like in the frame grab below, from Palmyra execution video on Jul 4, 2015:

Interestingly enough, the Greek and Eastern Orthodox tradition holds that the Annunciation occurred while Mary was drawing water from a spring, so the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation is located at a different site in Nazareth.

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