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Catholic Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa of Jerusalem Vatican News / YouTube

Jewish extremists are attacking Christians in the Holy Land. With just a few clicks, tell your congressional representatives to condemn the violence TODAY.

JERUSALEM (LifeSiteNews) –– Amid escalating attacks of Jewish extremists against Christians in the Holy Land, and heavy-handed government restrictions on centuries-old Easter celebrations, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has warned that the new government in Israel has further endangered Christians in the region.

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was appointed by the Vatican in 2020 to head the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land, indicated that rising attacks against Christians are due to last December’s establishment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government which incorporates extremist Jewish leaders as part of the majority coalition.

A report from Axios at the time called Netanyahu’s coalition “the most right-wing government” in the nation’s history, including powerful minsters who espouse “racist and Jewish supremacist” views.

This includes Itamar Ben-Gvir and his Jewish Power party, who during his election victory speech last November praised his fellow party member Bentzi Gopstein who referred to Christians as “blood sucking vampires” and “the Christian church” as “our deadly centuries-old enemy” while calling for the expulsion of all Christians from the country.

A member of the Knesset (parliament), Ben-Gvir is a resident of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank which is deemed illegal under international law. He was sworn in as Minister of National Security late last year giving him unprecedented authority over police and border paramilitary units that operate among the 2.9 million Palestinians under military occupation in the West Bank.

RELATED: Israel considering legislation to imprison those who share their faith in Jesus Christ

With such leaders in power, Pizzaballa told the Associated Press that extremists on the ground are now evermore emboldened to harass Christian religious and clergy, while committing vandalism against the community’s property as well.

“The frequency of these attacks, the aggressions, has become something new,” Pizzaballa said last week from his office in Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter. “These people feel they are protected… that the cultural and political atmosphere now can justify, or tolerate, actions against Christians.”

Though freedom of religion, worship and conscience are fully recognized in Israel’s founding 1948 Declaration of Independence, a 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that nearly half of Israeli Jews believe Arabs (including Christians) “should be expelled or transferred” from the country.

Since Netanyahu’s new government has taken power, these attacks include a radical Jew entering the Church of the Flagellation in February and pulling down a large statue of Jesus Christ and smashing it on the floor, then defacing it with a hammer.

In March, two Israeli terrorists entered the Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, that encompasses the empty tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and attempted to vandalize icons and attack the presiding bishop, and another priest, during Sunday morning Mass.

And even earlier, Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land decried “a group of religious Jews who entered the New Gate” near their headquarters and attacked tourists while committing acts of vandalism, “throwing chairs, tables and glasses, and transforming the Christian quarter into a battlefield.” According to the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, the police didn’t arrive for an hour, when they finally “took the attackers away.”

RELATED: Christian bishops in Holy Land say ‘fringe radical groups’ are trying to drive them out of Jerusalem

Other incidents include a January desecration of a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem, “Death to Christians” graffiti being written on the walls of a monastery in the Armenian quarter, and an act of vandalism being committed against a Maronite center.

Such incidents have occurred over the years with perhaps less frequency, including Jewish radicals spitting on Christians, disrupting their prayer and likely firebombing their property, including the 2015 torching of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha in Galilee.

And similar to the lack of investigation and prosecution when it comes to the crimes of leftist terrorists in the United States — whether they be part of the Black Lives Matter terrorist crimes of 2020, or the pro-abortion terrorist acts since May 2022 — crimes against Christians in Israel and Palestine are virtually never solved nor properly adjudicated.

“We see that most incidents in our quarter have gone unpunished,” lamented Father Aghan Gogchian, chancellor of the Armenian Patriarchate. He went on to convey his disappointment that law enforcement authorities don’t prosecute the culprits of such anti-Christian hate crimes with the grave charges they deserve, but rather accommodate them as individuals suffering from mental illness.

“The police try to paint each attack as something isolated, and try to paint the attackers as mentally unstable,” Amir Dan, spokesman for the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, told The Times of Israel. “In doing so, the police remove themselves from all responsibility.”

Jewish extremists are attacking Christians in the Holy Land. With just a few clicks, tell your congressional representatives to condemn the violence TODAY.

Now over this last weekend, when Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter, these same law enforcement authorities moved to restrict access to the Holy Fire Ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher due to “a necessary safety requirement,” and demanded Church authorities issue invitations limiting attendance to around 30% of what turnout has been in previous years.

Christian leaders called such demanded restrictions “unreasonable,” “unprecedented,” “heavy-handed,” and unnecessary for an annual ceremony which has been held in the same way for centuries. As a result, these bishops and priests invited all who wished to attend as usual, “leaving the authorities to act as they will.”

They also charged statements the police had made on this conflict to be “incorrect… a complete misrepresentation of the facts,” “categorically misguided and false.”

Ironically, police barricades set up in the Old City to prevent Christians from accessing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher caused a far more dangerous situation, with breakdowns and police at least at times using violence to prevent the faithful from exercising their right to freely worship at the tomb of Jesus Christ.

While in the United States the number of adults who self-identify as Christian has been declining, it is still a high majority at 69%. Yet, as described by best-selling authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, 2007), American taxpayers provide “Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state,” currently including, but not limited to, $3.8 billion annually, despite polls in the U.S. finding such “largess” to be unpopular.

In their 2023 Easter Message the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem addressed this situation pleading for help from Christians and others around the world.

“[W]e call upon [the] international community and local residents of goodwill to advocate on our behalf, in order to help secure the safety, access, and religious freedom of the resident Christian community and the millions of Christian pilgrims annually visiting the Holy Land—as well as the maintenance of the religious Status Quo.”

Jewish extremists are attacking Christians in the Holy Land. With just a few clicks, tell your congressional representatives to condemn the violence TODAY.


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