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02/02/2023 (International Christian Concern) – Christians in the city of Jerusalem were targeted in several incidents in January. On January 4th more than 30 graves were vandalized by two young Jewish men who broke down crosses and smashed gravestones at the Protestant Mount Zion Cemetery. On January 26th, a group of Jewish youth vandalized an Armenian restaurant in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, while verbally insulting Christians including chants “death to Christians”, a phrase that has increasingly been graffitied on several Jerusalem church walls in recent weeks.

These attacks come at a time of escalating tensions between the cities’ diverse Christian, Jewish and Muslim populations. Christian leaders in Jerusalem have, in recent years, warned of the rapidly declining presence of Christians in the city where the earliest events of Christian history began 2,000 years ago. Political instability, threats and attacks by extremist groups, economic troubles and high emigration rates have reduced Jerusalem Christian population to less than 2% from its approximate 25% of the population 100 years ago.

Last year a coalition of Christian leaders in Jerusalem appealed to the Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian governments to stop attacks of extremist groups that continue to threaten the Christian population in the Holy Land. These appeals are being reiterated for the new Israeli government to take such attacks seriously and to follow-up and hold their perpetrators responsible.

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