The city of Nazareth is located in the northern area of Israel, and is popularly referred to as its Arabic capital due to its predominantly Arab population. According to the New Testament, this city was where Jesus Christ spent his childhood. This city is of great importance to the Christian faith, and many devout Christians make pilgrimages to this city and visit shrines in Nazareth that are popular for their biblical events and other stories attributed to their history.
The city of Nazareth has been mentioned in the Bible several times, and it occurs as many as seventeen times in the New Testament in the capacity of a referral to Christ as Jesus of Nazareth. The city is located in close proximity to the Sea of Galilee, in a hill station. The residents include a majority of Christian Arabs and a minority of Muslim ones. Palestinian Arabs were also displaced in Nazareth, especially during the British administration rule, when this city was a centre of government.
The Gospel of Luke reveals that this city was also the abode to Mary and Joseph, and dates as far back as 9000 years. It is also considered to be the same city where Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear Jesus.
This city has been the centre of archeological fascination for many years. Digs have been undertaken revealing the early life of this city. Remains of pottery were extracted from the excavation cite and various claims have been made about Nazareth in accordance with the findings. In the early 7th century, the city came under Muslim rule and the religion Islam spread to its residents, however a Christian minority still remained.
As of 2005, the population of Nazareth has grown to about 65,000 with a Muslim majority. Although there is seemingly peaceful coexistence between the Christian and Muslim population of the city, it has seen its times of violent conflict over the years.
The city of Nazareth is home to beautiful churches and shrines, primarily located in the old parts of the city. Some of the noteworthy sites include the Anglican Church of Christ, the Pilgrimage route of the Jesus Trail, St. Joseph’s Carpentry Church and the Church of St Gabriel located on the eastern end of the city. This city of Nazareth also has been revered by people from all around the world and even from various religions and sects.