Share
News

American Arrested in Israel for Alleged 'Hate Crime' Against Historic Jerusalem Church

Share

Israeli police on Thursday arrested an American tourist after he allegedly knocked down and broke a statue of Jesus in a church in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Images on social media showed the statue laying horizontally on the floor after apparently being pulled down from a stand at the church.

The incident occurred in the Church of the Flagellation, which is located on the Via Dolorosa, the route believed to have been walked by Jesus to his crucifixion.

Police said they made the arrest with the assistance of a church security guard.

Video on social media showed a man sitting atop the alleged vandal who is heard saying “you can’t have idols in Jerusalem, this is the holy city.”

Trending:
AOC Accused of 'Literally Admitting to Election Interference' with Trump 'Ankle Bracelet' Comment

Police said the man’s mental health was being assessed. The American Embassy declined to comment.

The incident came as tensions run high in Jerusalem and the region following a bloody week.

An Israeli military raid in the West Bank killed 10 Palestinians, mostly militants but also a 61-year-old woman.

A Palestinian shooting attack outside a synagogue in east Jerusalem killed seven people, including a 14-year-old.

Is persecution of Christians getting worse?

The unrest comes in the first weeks of Israel’s new, far-right government, some of whose ultranationalist, religious members have used what critics have called inflammatory, anti-Arab rhetoric.

In a statement, the Custodia Terrae Sanctae, the Catholic Church’s custodians of holy sites in the Holy Land, said “this hate crime joins a list of attacks all of which targeted the Christian community in Israel in the past month.”

“It is not a coincidence that the violent dialogue in Israeli society is translated also into these grave acts,” it said, calling on Israeli law enforcement to take action to halt such incidents.

Father Nikodemus Schnabel of the Dormition Abbey just outside the Old City linked the incident to the government’s character.

“Welcome to the new Christian-hating Israel, encouraged and supported by the current government!” he tweeted.

Related:
Daughter of American Who Vanished in 2017 Reveals Devastating Update US Intel Gave Her

Police said they view damage to religious institutions as serious.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation