Jerusalem, March 4, 2021
Early last month, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem condemned an attack on the monastery after surveillance cameras caught a Jewish extremist smashing a lock on one of the church gates. Such attacks on churches and mosques are on the rise in Jerusalem, the Patriarch lamented.
And on Monday, the monastery was attacked again, for the fourth time in a month, as some Orthodox Jews attempted to set fire to the church entrance. They managed to slightly burn the door before the local priest put the fire out, according to a statement from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.
His Eminence Archbishop Theodosios of Sebaste of the Jerusalem Patriarchate condemned the attack. The Middle East Monitor quotes him: “We deplore and condemn this vandalism which stems from racism against churches, Christianity and Christian symbols, carried out by groups bearing fanatical ideologies, rejecting others and disrespecting their privacy.”
He also referred to the repeated attacks as “an act aimed at pushing the monks out of this monastery by terrorizing them, and could be a message that Christians are not accepted in this area.”
The Catholic churches in the Holy Land also condemned the repeated attacks and called upon all political and religious authorities in Jerusalem to unite in condemning such acts, which are becoming more frequent in the Holy City.
Daily Sabah writes that such “price tag” vandalism is a strategy used by extremist Jewish settlers to attack Palestinians and their property and drive them out.