Church of Saint Stephen desecrated
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has condemned the desecration of the Church of St. Stephen by unknown perpetrators. The church is located within the convent of Bet Jemal in western Jerusalem.The patriarch said that on September 20, rioters had broken open the doors of the church and destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary. They struck the windows of the church, on which various scenes of the life of Jesus were depicted, and smashed several consoles and chairs.
Monsignor Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem and Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, visited the desecrated church. He said, “This is not just an act of vandalism, but an act of the sacredness of the holy places and the faith of the people.” He added:
“In the Holy Land, there is deep faith and culture. We must live with the differences of faith, and it is absolutely necessary that we accept others, that we accept everyone in their diversity.”
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem not only condemned this attack but also explained the need for education “to respect the religious and cultural differences of men”.
It is not the first time that the Salesian monastery of Bet Jemal, which St Stephen church is part of, was attacked In December 2015 intruders destroyed several crosses and defiled tombstones of the monastery.