Retracing the path of Jesus's life from Bethlehem, to Egypt, to Nazareth, to what is today Lebanon and finally to Jerusalem, this volume takes readers on a picaresque journey through the modern Middle East. It winds through the vicious tensions of the West Bank, the fundamentalist uprisings of Upper Egypt, the ruins of Beirut, the tribal culture of Jordan, and Jerusalem's messianic underworld to discover Christian life is vanishing in the land where the faith began. The indigenous Christian community, which just two generations ago represented as much as 20 percent of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Galilee, is now less than two percent of the total population. Historians and demographers fear that native Christianity could virtually disappear in the Holy Land within two more generations. This is all the more poignant in a year in which millions of Christian tourists are descending upon Jerusalem to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of Jesus's birth.