Oct 06, 2017: Pilgrimage to Holy Land Day 4 : Peter's Fish
The Bible says, Jesus raised a mighty haul of fish from the depths of the Sea of Galilee for the Apostle Peter, but Israel's agriculture ministry hopes "St Peter's fish" itself can perform some wonders.






Some 600,000 tilapia - known locally as St Peter's fish - have just been introduced to the large freshwater lake, where fish stocks have been falling dramatically because of drought, over-fishing and increased extraction of water, according to the Times of Israel. And they aren't intended to simply boost the sea's stocks. It seems the fish act as "biofilters", boosting biodiversity and balancing the ecosystem by clearing out toxins caused by a type of weed that happens to be tilapia's favourite food, the report says.

Commercial fishing is suspended by the ministry during the fish release. Another 400,000 tilapia are apparently due to be released in October, while 300,000 silver carp will be added this week. They're being raised in pools at the Kibbutz Ginosar farm on the shores of the Sea.






Oct 07, 2017: Pilgrimage to Holy Land Day 5 : Bethlehem - Jesus' Birthplace : Church of Nativity :

The Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Palestine.






The exterior of the Church of the Nativity
The church was originally commissioned in 327 by Constantine the Great and his mother Helena over the site that was traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus. The Church of the Nativity site's original basilica was completed in 339 and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the 6th century. A new basilica was built 565 by Justinian, the Byzantine Emperor, restoring the architectural tone of the original. The site of the Church of the Nativity has had numerous additions since this second construction, including its prominent bell towers. Due to its cultural and geographical history, the site holds a prominent religious significance to those of the Christian faith.

The site of the Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site, and was the first to be listed under Palestine by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The site is also on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger. The Status Quo, a 250-year old understanding between religious communities, applies to the site.






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