Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Arsonists scorch Baptist church in Jerusalem

A Baptist Bible church, located in one of the swankiest neighborhoods of Jerusalem, was torched last night, 25 years after ultra-Orthodox extremist vandals burnt down its original wooden chapel. This attack comes barely 2 weeks after the murder of a Baptist bookseller on the streets of Gaza City, and the Christian community in Israel is playing the incident down.

Chuck Kopp, one of the pastors of the Narkis Baptist church, said he did not know who was behind the latest outrage, which left smouldering chairs and a scorched interior, but did not destroy Bibles or hymnals. Attackers fled the scene and remained at large on Wednesday.
Their motive for arson was not immediately clear, police said.
Arsonists broke into the church building, located in Rehavia, just before 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, setting it alight in three different places.Jewish neighbors summoned firefighters to protect the present sanctuary, which had opened in 1993.

The church offers services in English, Hebrew, and Russian. Worshippers number in the hundreds and attend separate sermons for different congregations, including two for Messianic Jews. Worryingly, some of the Russian speakers attending the services for Messianic Jews had been previously threatened, church officials told police. Messianic Jews consider themselves Jewish even though they believe in Jesus, and are anathema to ultra-Orthodox extremists, who pity them.

In the past, Israeli anti-proselytizer activists have called the church a hotbed of missionary activity.

The church pastor, who has been living in Israel for 40 years, noted that the arson attack took place on the date commemorating the assassination of the late prime minster Yitzhak Rabin 12 years ago, according to the Hebrew calendar.

"Every society has its fanatics and there is no lack of fanatics here in the Middle East," he said, adding that he was not surprised by the attack.

"We've been needing a face-lift anyway," he shrugged.

5 comments:

fee fi fo frum said...

OK the method is well---unorthodox--but intimidating messianic Jews is to be expected. They hold sabbath services at this church. People of the Book, huh?
All rather sickening.

church chairs said...

Wow! I should appreciate your point of view. Your article got a humoristic approach. Carry on, but it would be great if you tell us something about the source of church chairs, also with some useful links.

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jugularjew said...

fee fie for frum , tell church chairs that this is the way that Jerusalemites put Baptists in the Hot Seat.

Anonymous said...

Let them hold their sabbath services at a church...it is better than when they try to infiltrate our shuls!