Bethlehem, West Bank • A fire broke out Tuesday at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, causing slight damage near the place where Jesus is thought to have been born.
Father Ibrahim Faltas, a church official, said the fire was accidental. "The curtains around the grotto caught fire from a candle and that is all that happened," he said. "It was not arson."
It occurred just a few days after Pope Francis visited the site.
The church is built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born. The fire was quickly put out, but burnt remains of the curtains lay on the floor near the grotto and there was some smoke damage to the walls.