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Pope to pray at crucifixion site

Pope to pray at crucifixion site

The church is believed to stand upon the site where Jesus was crucified.

The Pope is devoting the last hours of his visit to Israel to talks about Christian unity.

During his eight-day tour, he has urged all sides in the Middle-East conflict to settle their differences, repeatedly calling for a Palestinian homeland.

Divided church

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest shrines in Christendom, is administered jointly by Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian and Ethiopian clerics.

They frequently argue about the division of the different chapels of worship in the huge edifice.

In ancient times, the church was situated outside the city walls.

Today, it lies in the heart of old Jerusalem in the middle of a bazaar, shops and mosques, as well as other Christian churches commemorating the events of 2,000 years ago.

The Israelis hope that Pope's visit - the highlight of his final day here - will boost pilgrim tourism.

The Pope flies back to Rome later on Friday, well before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath.

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