Slugger O'Toole

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“It was a trivial problem that… occurs every year”

Wed 28 December 2011, 3:42pm

Just your average family gathering at Christmas, with a bit of an argument about the seating cleaning arrangements…

Scuffles have broken out between rival groups of Greek Orthodox and Armenian clerics over a turf war in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

Bemused tourists looked on as about 100 priests fought with brooms while cleaning the church in preparation for Orthodox Christmas, on 7 January.

Palestinian police armed with batons and shields broke up the clashes.

Groups of priests have clashed before in the church, built on the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born.

“It was a trivial problem that… occurs every year,” Bethlehem police Lt-Col Khaled al-Tamimi told Reuters.

“No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God,” he said.

For more on the rivalries between the various supernaturalists at similar sites in the area, I’d recommend Simon Sebag Montefiore’s three part BBC 4 series Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City, based on his book Jerusalem: The Biography.

Adds Here’s the Euronews video report

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Comments (8)

  1. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Was there a few years ago, the ladder at the Holy Seplecure is hilarious,

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  2. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    Adds Here’s the Euronews video report

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  3. dodrade (profile) says:

    Don’t they have any shame?

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  4. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    Its the same at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre but there its the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox who are at loggergheads. The Church is owned by a Muslim family who want to give it away as the two ‘Christian’ churches cant agree on sharing it. Too much money to be made!!!!!

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  5. Alias (profile) says:

    It’s a bit like your neighbour planting roses on your side of the fence: not so bad in itself but the latent claim of ownership overcasts the roses…

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  6. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    Whaddya expect? It’s traditional. It’s all that biblical smoting and smiting and whatnot. It gets to a guy after a while even if he is a man of God. He’s still a human after all.

    To paraphrase the final line line from (possibly) the second greatest movie ever, “Forget it, Jake, it’s Jerusalem.”

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  7. Reader (profile) says:

    The still from the start of the short film looked promising, but for next year they really need better choreography and stuntmen. This could be a new Christmas tradition.

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  8. Tochais Síoraí (profile) says:

    I don’t think there’s any need for that. All they need to do is brush up on their technique.

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