Latin patriarch condemns attacks on Christian sites in Jerusalem

Published February 4th, 2023 - 06:02 GMT
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa (C) greets worshippers upon his arrival to Israel's controversial separation barrier in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem on December 24, 2022. Pizzaballa will lead the annual Christmas eve procession at the Church of the Nativity. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, on Friday condemned sabotage against Christian sites in occupied East Jerusalem. 

Pizzaballa said a Jewish American broke into the Church of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem's Old City and vandalized a statue of Jesus.

He also said the incident was the fifth in just a few weeks and last week a group of tourists was attacked by a Jewish group who turned the area into what looks like a battlefield.

"Two weeks ago, a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem was vandalized, and writings calling for death to Christians were written on the walls of one of the monasteries in the Armenian quarter," said Pizzaballa.

"We are following with serious concern, and we strongly condemn this increasing acts of hate and violence against the Christian community in Israel," he added.

Israeli authorities have yet to comment on Pizzaballa's statement.

Church leaders have repeatedly urged Israeli authorities to put an end to the "hate crimes" attacks.  

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