The U.S. State Department and Christians in Bethlehem are criticizing the United Nations for designating the Church of the Nativity a World Heritage Site.
The U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, took the emergency action on behalf of the Palestinians who believe it will help them gain support for statehood.
The Church of the Nativity is believed by many to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ. It's administered by the Roman Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, and Greek Orthodox Churches.
They say the U.N did not even ask them about it. The U.S. State Department said it is disappointed in what appears to be a political move by the world body.
Some nations and observers say the move is part of a Palestinian effort to eliminate Jewish historic ties to the land because they're claiming biblical sites as Palestinian property.