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Israeli bishop fears rise in anti-Christian violence by Jewish extremists

June 24, 2015

Attacks on Christian churches in Israel by Jewish extremists reflect a dangerous trend toward greater violence, a Catholic bishop has warned.

Bishop William Shomali, an auxiliary of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told Aid to the Church in Need that the recent torching of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves, in Tabgha, was a warning sign. “There is a real escalation in the anti-Christian violence, from a small fire which leaves little damage to a bigger fire and finally to an arson which intends to produce great damage and even killing,” the bishop said. “We are allowed to ask: what will happen next?”

Taking note of the quick response from the Israeli government, Bishop Shomali said that he was confident the act was “perpetrated by a very small and aggressive group.” But he said that he fears “these radicals are increasing in number and in the degree of intolerance.”

 


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