Franciscan leader raps Israeli tolerance of anti-Christian attacks
September 20, 2012
The Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land has stepped up demands for the government of Israel to take action against attacks on Christianity.
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa asked why Israel has tolerated “a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of worship.” He pointed to the vandalism at a monastery outside Jerusalem, where crude anti-Christian slogans were spray-painted on the walls. No arrests have been made in that case.
More disturbing, Father Pizzaballa said, was an incident that occurred in July, when an Israeli lawmaker tore up a copy of the New Testament in front of television camera. “This is a member of the Knesset,” the Franciscan leader said. “He is a representative of Israeli institutions.”
The recent acts of vandalism at Christian shrines are believed to be the work of Jewish extremists, most likely settlers from West Bank communities.
- Vatican representative condemns attacks on Christian holy places in Israel (Daily Telegraph)
- Church leaders decry vandalism, 'teaching of contempt' for Christians in Israel (CWN, 9/4)