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The Cenacle on Mount Zion, the traditional site of the Last Supper (Wikipedia)

A stained-glass window of the Cenacle, the traditional location of the Last Supper, was shattered by a rock thrown by unknown vandals last week, one of many incidents of violence on Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. Source. OSV News.

Such incidents have increased in frequency and have practically become a daily occurrence, said the organiser of a conference held from June 16, aimed at investigating these attacks from a religious, historical, legal and current events perspective.

Spitting on Christian clergy has become a common issue in the Holy Land and inspired the title of the conference, “Why Do (Some) Jews Spit on Gentiles,” which sparked controversy among Jews.

“According to statistics we have received since the Religious Freedom Data Center hotline was established a month ago, we can say there is a spitting attack every day,” said Yisca Harani, an independent researcher, lecturer and interfaith activist who initiated the conference.

Held at the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem’s Old City, the conference was sponsored by The Open University of Israel and its Center for the Study of Relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Since last November, surveillance cameras have filmed 19 attacks, including spitting, swearing, physical violence against clergy, and vandalism perpetrated by ultra-nationalist and ultra-orthodox Jews. Other incidents of harassment include vandalism, arson and acoustic disturbance of processions or religious ceremonies, Harani said.

Jerusalem’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar has condemned the attacks on Christians, writing in a rare English-language letter on May 16 that they are “strictly forbidden. We are not permitted to disparage any man who was created in the image of God.”

Representing the Latin Patriarchate, Msgr William Shomali told the gathering that proper education and an end to incitement and hate speech is the only way to put an end to anti-Christian harassment and racism.


Action needed to end anti-Christian incitement in Holy Land (By Judith Sudilovsky, OSV News, via UCA News)