Grafitti on walls of Dormition Abbey

Anti-Chrisitian grafitti found on Dormition Abbey in Jerualem

Abbey targeted once again, with on inscription reading 'death to Christians, enemies of Israel; graffiti also found at the Austrian Hospice in the Old City.

The walls and doors of the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem were found marked with anti-Christian grafitti Sunday. Police launched a high-priority investigation into the incident.



The Benedictine monastery, on Mount Zion in the Old City, is near a site where many Christians believe Jesus held the Last Supper and where tradition says the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, died. The site is also a tomb revered as the last resting place of the biblical King David and which draws many Jewish worshipers.


The Dormition Abbey said that on Saturday night, "some of our students discovered several graffiti on our monastery wall and on our doors in the little street behind the monastery. Some were also found on the walls and doors of the neighboring Greek-Orthodox and Armenian cemeteries."


According to the church, more than ten different Hebrew inscriptions spray-painted on the wall, "seemingly written by different hands, translate to 'Christians go to hell', 'death to Christians, the heretical enemies of Israel,' 'the revenge of the children of Israel is on its way', and 'may his (Jesus's -ed.) name be obliterated'.  


Graffiti on the Dormition Abbey: "Death to Christians, enemies of Israel" (Photo: Dormition Abbey)
Graffiti on the Dormition Abbey: "Death to Christians, enemies of Israel" (Photo: Dormition Abbey)


"The inscriptions are not only against Jesus the Messiah, but also call to slaughter the Christians and send them to hell! How long will these acts of vandalism continue?" the church said.


"This is the area of our convent, which until today is not monitored by police cameras, although this has been promised to us in the summer of 2013 by the Israeli security authorities after the cars of the monastery were badly damaged and several hate graffiti were discovered."


The Domition Abbey further complained of "aggressive gathering with loud music and chanting by Jewish right-wing radicals in our immediate neighborhood in the area of the Tomb of David" almost every weekend for the past three years.


"The children of Israel's revenge is on its way" (Photo: Dormition Abbey)
"The children of Israel's revenge is on its way" (Photo: Dormition Abbey)


Jerusalem District Police’s night patrol units discovered similar graffiti written with a black marker on the Austrian Hospice on Hagai Street in the Old City.


"We will not let anyone undermine religious coexistence in Israel. We will show zero tolerance to whomever harms the democratic foundations of Israel and its freedom of religion and we will apprehend those who carried out this heinous act," Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement, adding that police would put a high priority on "nabbing those who carried out this despicable act".


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the vandalism.


In a statement, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem described the Dormition Abbey as "a significant place for interreligious dialogue between Judaism and Christianity" and voiced "hope that the perpetrators (of the vandalism) will be arrested before they put proposed threats into action".


Vatican efforts to negotiate greater rights at the neighbouring Upper Room, where the Last Supper is believed to have occurred, have sparked opposition from nationalist and Orthodox Jews, who revere part of the building as the tomb of King David.


Pope Francis celebrated a mass at the Upper Room during a visit in 2014.


The church has been the target of quite a few so-called "price tag" attacks in the past.


In May 2013, vandals spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti on the Dormition Abbey's walls and a car parked nearby. "Christians are monkeys" and “Christians are slaves" was written on the abbey walls. In addition, two of the car’s wheels were punctured, and “Havat Ma'on”, referring to a settler outpost near Hebron, was written on the car. Jerusalem District Police launched an investigation.


It was also hit in 2014, when furniture and wooden crosses were burned. On January 3, 2016, a minor was indicted for the 2014 arson.


In May 2015, police launched an investigation after receiving reports that a prayer book was set on fire in an apparent arson attack at the Dormition Abbey. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said an eyewitness saw a man enter the Dormition Abbey and light candles before fleeing the scene. The suspect's identity or motive was not immediately known.



Reuters, AP and AFP contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 01.17.16, 11:46
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