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Challenges to Christian presence in Holy Land…

Challenges to Christian presence in Holy Land: acts of vandalism against shrines continue

On December 30, 2021, at the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission Metochion of Righteous Tabitha in Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, an act of vandalism was committed by an unknown person: several graves in the Christian Orthodox cemetery located in the territory of the Russian church were desecrated.

In the daytime, an unknown young man, who covered his face by a hood and a mask, got into the metochion territory fr om the side of the nearby Israeli school, fell and then crashed several marble crosses that stood on the gravestones. The actions of the vandal were registered by a video camera. The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem appealed to the police demanding that the culprit be found and punished.

It should be noted that attacks on Christian shrines have become more frequent in recent times and, as statistics show, behind them are radical representatives of Judaic religious communities.

It is not for the first time that such attacks are made on the metochion in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Moreover, at another well-known Russian place - the Metochion of St. Mary Magdalene Equal-to-the-Apostles on the Sea of Galilee cost - during the year 2021, local religious radicals repeatedly penetrated illegally the territory of the convent. They also committed several acts of desecration of holy icons and crosses. The illegal invasions into the territory of the convent were accompanied with not only verbal threats and acts of vandalism but also attempts to use physical force against sisters of the convent. These cases were registered in the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission’s appeals to police.

Repeated acts of desecration of Christian shrines were committed at the Mission’s Metochion of the Prophet Elias in Haifa, wh ere unknown persons put offensive for Christians and openly satanic inscriptions and signs on the walls of the Orthodox church.

Observing the locals’ growing religious intolerance towards the Christian community, His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, came out with an initiative to draw the attention of the public and Israeli authorities to the challenges thrown to the Christian presence in the Holy Land and attempts to violate there the peaceful coexistence of Christians, Muslims and Jews, sealed in the status quo. His initiative was supported by heads of the Christian Churches in the Holy Land.

 

DECR Communication Service

With reference to the press-service of the Russian Ecclesiastic Mission

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