Russia Expresses Concern Over Attempted Attack at Holy Site

Incident at the Church of the Virgin Mary’s Tomb

On Sunday, March 19, an unsettling event transpired when a 27-year-old suspect attempted to attack worshippers at a revered church with a steel pipe. The church, believed by Christians to be the final resting place of the Virgin Mary, saw no injuries or damages as a result of the incident. Israel Police swiftly apprehended the suspect, hailing from southern Israel.

Russia’s Call for Clarity and Justice

The Russian foreign ministry, alarmed by a perceived uptick in anti-Christian incidents, implored the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to make a clear statement about the occurrence. They also urged for comprehensive measures to ensure the perpetrators face justice and to prevent such events in the future.

Inconsistencies in the Reporting

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the assault was executed by two Jewish men, basing their claim on the testimony of a local vendor working near the church. Contradicting this, video footage from the scene clearly shows only one assailant, who seemingly wore no religious Jewish garb. Despite these discrepancies, Russia emphasized the need for “special attention” on Jerusalem’s holy sites, as this year’s confluence of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian holidays warrants extra vigilance.

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate: A Heinous Terror Attack

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a statement, deeming the incident a “heinous terrorist attack” by two Israeli radicals. The Patriarchate entreated the international community for immediate intervention to protect Jerusalem’s Christians and bolster Jordan’s efforts to safeguard the holy sites. They argued that radical Israeli groups are increasingly targeting Christians, particularly during religious holidays.

A Troubling Start to 2023: Mount Zion Cemetery Vandalism

Earlier this year, in January, two Jewish teenagers were caught on camera desecrating a historic Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion. They inflicted an estimated $100,000 worth of damage by smashing headstones, breaking crosses, and violating the sacred grounds. This disturbing act is another example of the anti-Christian incidents that have marred the beginning of 2023.