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Much has been said (since the Second Vatican Council and the conferences of the Latin American Episcopate of the last century) about the “inculturation of the Gospel” — that is, of the progressive engagement and harmonization of Christianity with the culture proper to the peoples that receive it, in order to safeguard the integrity of the Gospel, while respecting, integrating, understanding and assuming the different cultural contexts in which the Gospel is preached.
But the practice of inculturation is not recent. The testimony of the first Jesuits who traveled to China and Japan should be enough to realize that, in many cases, inculturation is as old as Christian preaching itself.
Thus, it is not surprising that the traditional representation of the birth of Jesus varies from region to region, from country to country and from continent to continent, according to the traditions, customs and uses of the place. Here, we chose 12 different Nativity scenes, from twelve12 different countries and regions around the globe, from Patagonia to China, through Europe and Africa, to share the beauty of Catholic diversity.