A church in Israel, believed by many christians to be the final resting place of the Virgin Mary, was attacked by extremist Israeli settlers last Tuesday, October 2.
Located on Mount Zion, just outside of Jerusalem, the Franciscan Convent near the Dormition Abbey Church was spray painted with the words “Jesus is a bastard” and “price tag” on its outer door. The blue graffiti was soon erased, but despite promises by the authorities to take tougher measures to prevent them, hate crimes have been on the rise.
According to Russia Today, the peculiar phrase, “price tag” “is used to denote crimes carried out against local Palestinians or Israeli security forces in retaliation for any actions taken to curb settlement expansion.”
Such attacks are usually carried out against Palestinian property, such as cars, mosques and even olive trees. However, the Dormition Abbey Church was the second Christian site to be attacked in less than a month.
In September, Israeli settlement extremists defaced the Latrun monastery in the West Bank, spraying “Jesus is a monkey” in orange on its outer wall. In February, the Valley of the Cross Monastery in Jerusalem was also vandalized. “Death to Christians” and “Jesus drop dead” was scrawled on its walls.
In response to the latest attack, Israeli President Shimon Peres said that, “Price tag actions are contrary to the Jewish religion and causes great harm to Israel.” He added that, “Holy sites must not be harmed.”