Menorah (archives)
Photo: AP
Officials say priest attacks menorah in Moldova
(Video) Dozens led by Orthodox priest smash menorah in capital Chisinau. National government says 'hatred, intolerance and xenophobia' unacceptable

VIDEO - Dozens of people led by an Orthodox priest smashed a menorah in Moldova's capital Chisinau, using hammers and iron bars to remove the candelabra during Hanukkah, officials said.


The 1.5 meter (5-foot)-tall ceremonial candelabrum was retrieved, reinstalled and is now under police guard.


Video documenting menorah violation


Police said they were investigating but there was no official reaction from Moldova's Orthodox Church, which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and counts 70 percent of Moldovans as members.


The national government said in a statement that "hatred, intolerance and xenophobia" are unacceptable.


Jewish leader Alexandr Bilinkis called on the Orthodox Church to take a position over the priest's actions.


The Jewish community was thriving before World War II but there are now estimated to be just 12,000 Jews in the former Soviet Republic. Twenty years ago there were 66,000 Jews. Many immigrated to Israel.


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