Dozens of Christian graves in Jerusalem desecrated

Dozens of Christian graves in Jerusalem desecrated

Wednesday, a Jerusalem bishop expressed “dismay” at the damage of dozens of Christian graves on the outskirts of the Old City, while police investigated the vandalism.

Christians believe that Jesus’ Last Supper took place at the Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion, where broken tombstones and overturned crosses can be found.

Hosam Naoum, an Anglican bishop, told reporters at the cemetery, “We noticed that over thirty tombstones and crosses were crushed to bits.”

Church officials reported discovering the damage on Tuesday, while security camera footage from January 1 shows two individuals or boys wearing Jewish garb vandalizing the site.

The Jerusalem Episcopal Diocese noted in a statement that these violent crimes were motivated by religious intolerance and hatred against Christians.

The Israeli police announced on Tuesday that they had opened an investigation into the vandalism of numerous tombstones in the Protestant cemetery.

Standing in front of one of the ruined graves, Naoum remarked, “We are not just appalled, but also profoundly distressed.”

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets the act of destruction committed at the Jerusalem Protestant Mount Zion Cemetery.

The perpetrators of this abominable behavior, which offends religion, should be penalized.

— Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (@IsraelMFA) January 3, 2023
The bishop stated that the cemetery was founded in the middle of the 19th century and is the final resting place of clergy, scientists, and politicians.

Among them were “figures of tremendous significance who contributed to the history of Jerusalem and the way of life of its inhabitants,” he said.

The Israeli foreign ministry said that “this immoral conduct is an insult to religion” and demanded that the culprits be brought to justice.

Mount Zion is located outside the walls of the Old City and has attracted pilgrims for ages. It is also honored by Jews as the burial site of King David in the Old Testament.

In Jerusalem and the greater Holy Land, church leaders warned in December 2021 that “Christians have been the target of frequent and continuous attacks by violent fringe organizations.”

The statement criticized the inactivity of law enforcement and local officials, claims that the Israeli foreign ministry judged “without merit.”

View CCTV footage of grave vandalism below:

More than 30 Christian graves in a Jerusalem cemetery have been vandalized, including some British Commonwealth War Graves.
In an event that occurred at 3:20 p.m. on Sunday, tombstones were overturned, graves were desecrated, and iconography was smashed.
#hatecrime picture from Twitter: kWz4nB04QP

— Safeguarding Christians in the Holy Land (@ProtectingHLC) January 3, 2023
© Agence France-Presse


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