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Jerusalem: statue of Christ smashed in hammer attack

03 February 2023

Alamy

Church officials tend to a wooden statue of Jesus Christ that was pulled down and damaged in the Church of the Condemnation, in Jerusalem’s Old City

Church officials tend to a wooden statue of Jesus Christ that was pulled down and damaged in the Church of the Condemnation, in Jerusalem’s Old City

A STATUE of Christ in a chapel along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem was smashed in a ferocious attack with a hammer yesterday.

In a video circulating online of the immediate aftermath of the attack, the alleged attacker can be heard saying “idols cannot be allowed in Jerusalem”. The attack comes amid escalating violence and tensions across Israel and the West Bank.

The Dean of St George’s College, Jerusalem, Canon Richard Sewell, said that the attack was very concerning, and made the minority-Christian community fearful.

He said the man damaged the statue and other items in the chapel, and had to be restrained by staff. “These incidents cause much fear among Christians in Jerusalem,” he said.

The attack occurred at the Church of the Condemnation, the second station along the Via Dolorosa. An American tourist has been arrested suspected of vandalism.

Israeli police said that the man’s mental health was being assessed.

Maj al Rishq, a security guard who detained the attacker, told the AFP news agency that he was able to grab the man, who had hit the statue with a hammer, and pull him off.

The police said in a statement: “The police will continue to act with determination against violence and vandalism in the holy sites of all religions. We will also continue to work in maintaining security and order.

“The Israel Police is unwavering in its efforts against lawbreakers wherever they may be, including those who harm holy places and religious sentiments.”

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