Jerusalem Church Attack Prompts Call for Global Safeguarding of Holy Sites by Religious Leaders


On March 19th, a terrorist attack happened at a church in Jerusalem, specifically at the Tomb of the Virgin Mary. The Israeli police arrested a 27-year-old person from southern Israel in connection with the attack. Unfortunately, the police gave no more information about the suspect or the type of attack.

The Greek Orthodox Church spoke out against the attack and was worried about the safety of the Archbishop and one of the priests who were in the church at the time of the attack.

The Call for International Protection

According to Catholic Review, the Greek Orthodox Church has called for international protection of holy sites following a "heinous terrorist attack" at the Tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem. The church denounced the attack and expressed concern for the safety of Archbishop Joachim and one of the priests in the church.

The incident occurred during Lenten celebrations and as tourists visiting the city for spiritual pilgrimages. A suspect was arrested, and the police said the individual had entered the church with an iron bar. The ambush on the Tomb of the Virgin Mary is one of several recent attacks on Christian sites in Jerusalem.

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has expressed solidarity with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and others calling for the protection of holy sites. According to Vatican News, the WCC is concerned about the rising number of attacks on these sites in Jerusalem.

They believe it's important to convene a meeting of religious leaders to discuss how to end these assaults on sacred places and institutions. The WCC believes protecting holy sites is necessary during Christian holidays and on all days of significance for all faith communities.

Vatican news added that the recent attack is part of a series of assaults on Christians, churches, and cemeteries in the Holy Land. In response, Israeli and Palestinian officials have promised to take action to prevent violence leading up to Ramadan. They set a deadline in April to report on their progress and emphasized the importance of preventing disruptions at holy sites.

Over the past year, Israeli forces have made numerous arrests in the West Bank, resulting in the deaths of over 200 Palestinians, including fighters and civilians. In addition, more than 40 Israelis and three Ukrainians have been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians.

Also Read: Vandals Desecrate Christian Cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

Suspects Caught On the Scene

In another report shared by Times of Israel, Bilal Abu Nab, a vendor near the church, says two Jewish men - one wearing a yarmulke and the other wearing tzitzit - were responsible for the attack. He mentioned that a priest was hurt on the forehead during the incident, and police were contacted, but they arrived over half an hour later.

However, the police only mentioned one suspect, who was arrested with an iron bar, and stated that there were no injuries. The police issued a statement expressing their firm stance against violence, particularly in holy places, and they promised to take strict action against the perpetrators of such crimes.

Related Article: Desecration of Jerusalem Christian Cemetery: Two Suspects Arrested, Justin Welby and Israel's Foreign Ministry Speak Out