On March 19, two Israeli men physically attacked a bishop and two priests during Sunday Mass at the Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. They also attempted to vandalize items inside the Church.
Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Theophilus III, was quick to denounce the attack. He released a statement emphasizing the need to respect the basic human right of worshiping freely.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) joined the Patriarchate in condemning the attack. The Secretary General of the WCC, Rev. Prof. Dr. Jerry Pillay, called for the protection of all holy sites.
The strike on the Church of Gethsemane is not the only recent attack on a holy site— the Church of the Flagellation in Jerusalem was also a target in the past.