A suspected arson attack carried out between Wednesday 17 and Thursday June 18, by unidentified extremists devastated the church in Tabgha, the village located about three kilometers from Capernaum, on the northwestern shore of Lake Tiberias, considered one of the most important holy places of Galilee, built in the area where, according to tradition, Jesus performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. 

The criminal fire – report official sources of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem – was extinguished by firefighters around 3:30 am, after having caused serious damage in the courtyard entrance and caused the poisoning of an elderly Benedictine monk and a young volunteer, who were taken to a hospital. On the walls inscriptions in Hebrew were found bearing the passage of a prayer recited three times a day by practicing Jews, asking God to destroy idols and pagans. "It is a terrible thing, really terrible, that hurts us all. Hopefully the perpetrators will soon be identified", refers Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem to Agenzia Fides.

The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes was the subject of an attack of vandalism in April 2014, when two crosses and an open-air altar had been targeted by the launch of stones accomplished by a group of teenagers.

The modality of the attack and threatening inscriptions found on the walls suggest that the attack on the church in Tabgha represents yet another episode in the long series of desecrations and acts of intimidation committed by groups of extremist Jewish settlers to the detriment of monasteries, churches and Christians cemeteries since February 2012. Since then, militant extremist groups close to the settler movement have also carried out attacks against mosques frequented by Palestinian Arabs of Islamic religion.


Source: Fides News