Church of the Multiplication Reopens in Tabgha

Thousands of Christians Gather in Prayer at Historic Church Targeted in Arson Attack

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On Sunday, thousands of Christians joined in prayer at the Church of the Multiplication, located near the Sea of Galilee. The historic, site of Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand, was targeted last week in an arson attack by extremist Jewish settlers.

According to Fides news agency, hundreds of youth carried crosses and the yellow & white flags of the Vatican near the Church, as well as singing songs dedicated to Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The celebration of Mass was presided by His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem.

Also in attendance at the Mass was US Deputy Ambassador to Israel William Grant, as well as Druze and Muslim delegations who participated in a sign of solidarity.

As of yet, Israeli police have not identified those responsible of heinous act. Fortunately, the attack, which occurred last Thursday, caused no casualties and did not inflict significant damage to the Church. The attackers, however, defaced the entrance corridor of the edifice. The words, written in red graffitti states in Hebrew: “false idols will be eliminated.”

Various churches, monasteries and Christians have also been desecrated by extremist Jewish settlers since February 2012. They have also attacked and defaced mosques frequented by Palestinian Arabs. (J.A.E.)

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