An Evangelical prayer near the Western Wall in Jerusalem descended into chaos after right-wing orthodox Jewish activists chanted insults and reportedly spit on participants, leading to some arrests. The prayer gathering consisted of a “coalition of believers in Israel and the Nations, denominations, missions and prayer organizations” coming together in prayer for Jerusalem, the Jewish people and the “Gospel to go to the ends of the earth.” Hundreds of Christians gathered at the Davidson Centre, an archaeological park near the Western Wall, where organizers held a time of worship and prayer on the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The theme of the event was centered on Psalm 122, which commands God’s people to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
During the event, several Orthodox Jewish activists, including a prominent rabbi and the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, took part in a protest that eventually turned violent, with several of the protesters hurling insults at Christians gathered and others spitting on them, according to Israeli media. Windows at the Davidson Centre were also smashed during the protest, one Israeli newspaper reported, adding that 10 protesters were arrested during the gathering but were not identified. Israel Today reports that some signs protesters held up cited the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD by Rome and the Holocaust as reasons for the protest. One sign reportedly read: “We haven’t forgotten our temple that was destroyed by Rome nor the equitation in Spain and all the pogroms. We have not forgotten all the bloodshed nor the six million who were murdered in the Holocaust.
“Now we have returned to our country and pray in the remnant of the temple that will be built soon. Please respect the feelings of the Jewish people and do your Christian ceremonies in your churches and not here.” Among those who participated in the protest were ultra-orthodox Rabbi Zyi Thau, the spiritual leader of the right-wing Noam Party, and Arieh King, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, who equated Christian missionary activity with radical Islamic terrorism. In a tweet, King applauded the “dignified and proper protest” and said, “As far as I am concerned, every missionary should know that he is not a welcome person in the Land of Israel.”
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