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Jerusalem Christians worry about wave of vandalism

2023-02-05T11:43:08.891Z


On Candlemas Day, a Jewish extremist entered a Franciscan church to smash a statue of Christ. This is the fifth such incident in Jerusalem in a matter of weeks.


An American tourist, suspected of having vandalized a statue of Christ in a chapel in the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday February 2, was arrested by the Israeli police.

The guardian of the Church of the Flagellation, Majid al-Rishq, explained that this Jewish man, armed with a hammer, had "

struck the statue of Christ

".

Witnesses claim that the man also declared, after attacking the feet and face of the statue of Christ, his hostility to "

idols

" - the Christian representations which, according to some radical Jews, defile the holy city of Jerusalem.

The Chapel of Condemnation where this act of vandalism took place is on the site where Jesus was sentenced to death, according to Christian tradition.

It is located within the grounds of the Church of the Flagellation, at the start of the Via Dolorosa, the path traveled by Christ before the crucifixion, in the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The vandalized wooden statue was brought to Jerusalem from Spain in 1912, said Eugenio Alliata, director of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum (SBF) archaeological museum, which collects artifacts from the Holy Land.

Read alsoIsrael: the long march of Jewish supremacists to power

According to the Vatican News agency, this is the fifth such incident in recent weeks.

Last week, tourists were attacked by a group of religious Jews who entered the Old City through the Porte Neuve.

They carried out acts of vandalism in the street, throwing chairs, tables and glasses and turning the Christian quarter into a “

battlefield

”.

About two weeks ago, a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem was vandalized.

“ Death to Christians

” graffiti

was also inscribed on the walls of a monastery in the Armenian quarter, and premises serving as a church in the Maronite center of Ma'alot were vandalized.

"

We follow with concern and strongly condemn this growing succession of serious acts of hatred and violence against the Christian community in Israel,

" reacted in a press release the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, adding: "

We expect and demand that the Israeli government and the forces of order act decisively to guarantee the safety of all communities, to guarantee the protection of religious minorities and to eradicate religious fanaticism, these serious phenomena of intolerance, these hate crimes and vandalism directed against Christians in Israel

”.

Source: lefigaro

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