Its place in Christian religion is that it is considered to be the birthplace of Mary and the home of John the Baptist and the prophet Zacharias. Many Christians cite the existence of manuscripts as evidence in favor of this belief. However, early writers such as St. Jerome and later scholars like Baronius contradict this theory by citing the breadth of the term 'city of Juda' and the unlikelihood that is necessarily refers to this particular city.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Carem is closely associated with Bethcarem or Bethacharam a civilization that is mentioned in the Biblical Book of Jeremiah and the second book of Esdras. Some features of this village are said to be the Nativity of John the Baptist, which contains a cathedral and monastery at the Church of the Visitation. In 1672 the Franciscan order received a Firman from the Ottoman Sultan and 'large sums of mon[ies]' were expended in an extensive rebuilding programme. In 1693 the monastery was renovated and walls added. South of the village is a fountain that many Christians refer to as the Fountain of the Virgin.
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