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Broom Battle at Bethlehem, the Birthplace of Jesus

December 29, 2011  by: Paulose  Points: 20   Category: Social    Views: 734

A broom battle inside the Church of Nativity between priests and monks at Bethlehem church will be a shock to the world at the dawn of New Year 2012. Should Jesus, who brought peace on the earth, come again with a whip of cords and chase out the commercial people that defile the Church?


Broom battle inside a holy place between priests and monks. I could not believe. But it has happened. It was not a joke or comedy play at Bethlehem Nativity Church that an abominable brawl between clergymen broke out yesterday at the very site where Jesus is said to have been born; but the sad incident of such battles inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is taking place there often.

It is really shocking to hear that the annual cleaning of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended in such an ugly battle between two rival Christian denominations that share this church. The fighters were not ordinary lay people, but service-minded spiritual priests and monks who are supposed to be dedicated to the service of God. Brooms flew; fists attacked and insulting and inhuman words were exchanged. Priests and monks dressed in their traditional robes, numbering around 100 were changing the sacred place into an ugly scene of unworthy battle.

The battle scene

Dailymail from UK reports about this about this ugly scene repeated often in history. (Ref: dailymail.co.uk/news) The Church of Nativity, traditionally accepted as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, exists in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. It is believed to be the place where the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to baby Jesus. It is a basilica which was built by Emperor Constantine in 333 A.D and was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian in the sixth century.

For several centuries this Church of Nativity has been an important place of veneration and pilgrimage for thousands of people from all over the world. But for centuries, possession of this church remains divided among Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian sections of Christians. There has been rivalry among these groups about the parts of the church and possessing the objects under their control.

The ugliest row at the holiest place

Every year annual cleaning will be done before the Orthodox Christmas celebrations, which usually falls on January 7. Preparing for that celebration, annual cleaning work was going on inside the church, being carried out by the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic Church clergymen in their respective jurisdictional boundaries. An accidental pushing by one of the Armenian or Orthodox groups caused the beginning of the clash. The spark flared up suddenly and Palestinian police had to intervene. The police had to rush to the scene of violence and restore order by force. Palestinian police lieutenant-colonel Khaled al-Tamimi who brought the situation under control said it was "just a trivial problem among men of God".

Scandal to the world

Jesus came to serve and show example to the world. The clashes that burst out here and there among the Church denominations all over the world are only scandals that speak against the teachings of Jesus Christ. What would have the reaction of Jesus at such God-men who cause scandal to others?

"And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade."(John 2: 15-16)



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