Holy Land Arson

The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land issued a strong condemnation against an early morning arson attack on the Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee on June 18. The council, which is made up of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Heads of the Local Churches of the Holy Land and the Ministry of Islamic Waqf of the Palestinian Authority, said they were outraged by the arson and vandalism. “Since December 2009, about 43 churches and mosques were torched or desecrated, yet not a single person has been prosecuted by the authorities,” a C.R.I.H.L. statement said. It called on authorities to “bring the perpetrators to justice, prevent such attacks and restore safety and respect for holy sites of all religions.” The church is built on the spot where Christian tradition holds that Jesus miraculously multiplied five loaves and two fishes to feed the 5,000. A spokesperson said the blaze caused millions of dollars in damage.

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