Vandals painted an anti-Christian slogan on a church next to Jerusalem’s Old City overnight, the latest in a series of attacks on Christian and Muslim sites.
Hebrew graffiti was discovered Tuesday morning on the walls of the Dormition Abbey, including an anti-Christian slogan defaming Jesus, “Jesus is a son of a bitch.”
The vandals also sprayed the words “price tag” on the church’s door — alluding to a policy by right-wing Jewish extremists to attack Palestinians, and now churches, in response to Israeli actions against the settler movement.
The Dormition Abbey is a Benedictine site located over the spot where Christians believe Mary, the mother of Jesus, died.
President Shimon Peres quickly condemned the attack. He called such acts “a negation of Judaism” that “damage Israel,” and said “We must not reconcile ourselves to these attacks.” The country’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi also spoke out against the vandalism.
Police are continuing to investigate a spate of attack on Christian religious sites in Israel that have been attributed to right-wing activists, including anti-Christian slogans spray-painted last month on a monastery at Latrun, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
In response to that vandalism, the Catholic Church issued a rare declaration last month calling on Israeli leaders to take action.
“Sadly, what happened in Latrun is only another in a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of worship,” the statement said. “What is going on in Israeli society today that permits Christians to be scapegoated and targeted by these acts of violence?”