US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a devout Christian, visited Jesus' traditional birthplace on Wednesday, saying the experience moved her and served as a "reminder that the prince of peace is still with us."
Rice has been meeting with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders this week as part of preparations for a US-hosted peace conference in November or December. On Tuesday, she won public support from Egypt for the gathering, and then headed to Israel and the West Bank for more talks Wednesday.
Her day began in biblical Bethlehem in the West Bank, with a tour of the Church of the Nativity, built over Jesus' traditional birth grotto.
"Being here at the birthplace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has been a very special and moving experience," she said. "It is also, I think, a personal reminder that the prince of peace is still with us."