26th June 2015

Municipality gives in to uproar following Christian conference, dubbed by Jews ‘a show of forced conversion’

The Jerusalem Municipality has decided to consult the city’s Orthodox chief rabbis before approving any public Christian event that might possible include missionary activity, Israeli news site Ynet reported on Thursday.

Last month, a public event by Christians was almost banned after ultra-Orthodox (haredi) rabbis, politicians, and haredi media attacked the city for allowing it to take place, calling the event a “major show of forced conversion” to Christianity.

Secular Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, and the haredi representatives in the Jerusalem Municipality subsequently reached an agreement which stipulates that the city will consult its “legal advisers” and the city’s “chief rabbis” before issuing permits for any future Christian events that might include “illegal” missionary activity – effectively giving the rabbis a measure of veto power over future Christian events.

The Jerusalem Municipality said in response that “It has been decided that in future events, in case concerns are raised about illegal missionary activity, Jerusalem’s chief rabbis and the Municipality’s legal advisers will be consulted.”

Earlier this month Extremist Jews tried to ban a Christian prayer at the site of Jesus’ Last Supper, calling it “pagan ceremony.”

The Jews said the Christian worshippers were desecrating their holy site and violating the Jews’ right to pray there, but Vatican representatives denied the claims, saying the incident as “grave.”

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Jack Guez (AFP)”Young Israeli nationalists wave a national flag outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s old city on May 17, 2015″

The Cenacle is a second-story room that commemorates the “upper room” in which Jesus shared the Last Supper with the disciples. It is located directly above the Tomb of David on Mount Zion. The Cenacle is also where evangelists believe that the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost, 50 days after Easter.

The site is considered holy to both Christians and Jews,

Under Israeli law, Christians are only allowed to pray there twice a year, prompting efforts by the Vatican to negotiate greater access rights to what is one of the most sacred sites in Christendom.

Those attempts have sparked a major backlash by nationalist Jewish groups, many of whom wrongly believe Israel is poised to sign over sovereign rights to the site.

A Catholic bishop recently told Aid to the Church in Need website of the growing threat of anti-Christian violence from extremist Jews.

Bishop William Shomali, Auxiliary Bishop of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said: “There is a real escalation in anti-Christian violence: from a small fire which leaves little damage, to a bigger fire, and finally to an arson attack which is intended to produce major damage and even killing,” adding: “We are allowed to ask: What will come next?”

The bishop however acknowledged that the violence was likely perpetrated by “a very small and aggressive group.”

“I cannot put all Israelis in the same basket, since there are the liberal and intolerant Jews, those who are less [tolerant] and finally those who hate the non-Jews,” he said.

“My fear is that these radicals are increasing in number and in the degree of intolerance,” he added.

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Channel 10 screenshot”A black flag associated with the Islamic State terrorist group printed on a leaflet which was reported to have been distributed in East Jerusalem on Thursday, June 25, 2015″

Meanwhile Christians are being threatened by radical Muslims.

According to a Channel 10 News, leaflets, ​signed by an organization referring to itself as the “Islamic State in Palestine,” threatening Christians were distributed in East Jerusalem Thursday.

The flyers, which displayed an image of the black flag associated with the Islamic State terrorist group, warned Christian residents of the city that “vengeance” will be exacted upon them, the TV report stated.