“We have a problem, and it’s called hatred of Christians from the Jewish side”: After the attack on the German Father Nicodemus Schnabel in Jerusalem, two suspects were arrested.
After a spitting attack by radical Jews on a German abbot in Jerusalem, he called for more decisive action against anti-Christian attacks in Israel.
Father Nicodemus Schnabel, abbot of the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, was approached and spat on by two Jews in the Old City on Saturday. They also insulted Jesus. At the time, Schnabel was out for a walk through the city with a German journalist who was documenting the incident.
A police spokeswoman said the two suspects were arrested on Saturday and placed under house arrest. One is a 17-year-old from Jerusalem. The investigation continued. The police are committed to the safety of people of all religions. A policy of “zero tolerance” towards religiously motivated attacks is being pursued.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz spoke on X, formerly Twitter, of an “ugly incident.” He strongly condemns such attacks on members of other religions.
“The majority of people are wonderful here”
Father Nikodemus told the German Press Agency: “What I miss is that the Israeli government and public are finally naming it very prominently and very specifically: we have a problem, and it’s called hatred of Christians from the Jewish side.” It’s “not a huge problem” but is being denied, he says.
At the same time, Father Nicodemus emphasized that after the attack he had received a lot of solidarity from friendly rabbis and Muslims. “The majority of people are wonderful here, but there is this small radical group here,” said the Benedictine monk. The religious leaders of Jews, Christians and Muslims must take responsibility for “how we educate our young people.”
The Dormition Abbey on the edge of Jerusalem’s Old City has often been the target of attacks. According to the German abbot, this involved graffiti, slashed car tires, desecration of cemeteries and smashed windows. In 2014 there was also an arson attack on the facility, which belongs to the German Association of the Holy Land.
Christians are a small minority in Israel, making up only two percent of the approximately ten million citizens.
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