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This Christmas, like every Christmas, thousands of pilgrims and tourists will travel to the Middle East to celebrate the holiday in the land of the Bible.

In Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem will lead a midnight mass, while in Syria — where some Christians still speak dialects of Aramaic, similar to the ancient language Jesus spoke — celebrations are likely to be subdued, curtailed by the dangers of a war that is tearing the country apart.

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