Did Jesus ever imagine that a few hundred yards from where he told the disciples that Christians would be known by their love that Jewish authorities would break up a brawl among his followers?
And not just once, as “brawls are not uncommon at the church.”
Israeli police rushed into Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre to break up fist fights between dozens of Greek and Armenian worshippers on Orthodox Palm Sunday, witnesses said.
Some 20 officers intervened after Armenian worshippers threw a Greek Orthodox priest out of the church, sparking a free-for-all, they said.
Several worshippers then started beating the police officers with palm fronds they were holding for the Palm Sunday celebrations that mark the return of Jesus to the Holy City a week before he was crucified.
After the incident, dozens of members of Jerusalem’s Armenian community marched from the church to the Old City’s police headquarters in protest at the detention of two Armenians.
Brawls are not uncommon at the church, which is shared by various branches of Christianity, each of which controls and jealously guards part of site — considered one of the holiest in Christianity.
Precisely in order to prevent such disturbances, two Muslim families have been entrusted for the past 800 years with opening and closing the gates of the church, a cavernous labyrinth of chapels and crypts built on the site where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried.
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