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INTERACTIVE: Christianity's roots in the Middle East

Christianity was born in the Middle East and spread widely across the region during the first half of the 1st century BC
Bethlehem's Holy Nativity Church is built above the spot where some believe that Jesus was born (AFP)

As Christians the world over celebrate Christmas - either on 25 December for Catholics and Protestants and 7 January for most Orthodox denominations - many eyes will turn to Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank where the Bible says the baby Jesus was born. However, Christianity has much more diverse roots in the region, where it spread widely during Roman rule. This interactive infographic looks at some of the remaining religious sites that are still scattered across much of the Middle East and North Africa.