Christian leaders: Arrest ‘price-tag’ vandals

Police have yet to arrest anyone in connection to wave of vandalism against Christian sites this year.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
October 23, 2012 23:18
1 minute read.
Reads: "Price tag" and "Jesus is a bastard"

Reads: "Price tag" and "Jesus is a bastard". (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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After a wave of anti-Christian “price-tag” attacks this year, Christian leaders from one Jerusalem church hosted 50 people at a solidarity event on Tuesday to urge law enforcement to find and arrest the vandals perpetrating these attacks.

“We made it clear that we hold no grudge or personal animosity or are seeking revenge,” said Rev. Charles Kopp, the senior pastor of the Narkis Street Congregation.

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“But we feel for the sake of civic order that the arm of the law needs to take care of the situation.”

The Narkis Street Congregation invited representatives from the Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Public Security Ministry. City council members, including Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu, and rabbis from neighboring synagogues attended as well.

Vandals attacked the Narkis Street Congregation on February 20 of this year, writing “Death to Christianity,” “Jesus was a bastard” and “price tag” on the wall as well as slashing the tires of three cars.

Since the beginning of the year, price-tag activists have also vandalized the Franciscan convent at the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion, the Latrun Monastery, and the Valley of the Cross. No one has been arrested in connection with any of the price-tag attacks this year against Christian sites.

Since the Narkis Street Congregation chapel was burnt to the ground in 1982, the Baptist church has suffered from nearly annual vandalism, ranging from small fires to anti-Christian graffiti to slashing the tires of cars parked outside the historic church. Police have not arrested any suspects in connection with the constant vandalism.

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Kopp said police have not been in touch with the congregation to update them on any breakthroughs in their investigation.

“Israeli security is legendary and for a good reason,” said Kopp. “I’m sure if they put the right unit on this case, they’d find them in short order. If they have traffic police on it or some minor-league unit, they’re not going to succeed.”

Kopp urged the law enforcement to treat the vandalism as a serious national security threat, adding that it is a “slippery slope” from vandalism to more serious crime.

Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said on Tuesday the special investigative unit in charge of looking into the attacks against Christian sites this year has not made any breakthroughs and there are no leads.

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