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Hegumen Nikon (Golovko): We must not silently endure oppression in the Holy Land

In recent months, more and more alarming signals have been received from the Holy Land about the beginning of real persecution of Christian denominations. Abbot Nikon (Golovko), secretary of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, spoke about what is happening today in the Holy Land, about vandalism, attempts to seize church property and street fights.

“Destructive processes have intensified with the onset of the pandemic and the chain of lockdowns in Israel. In our Russian sites and in our churches in the Holy Land, in the last 2 years we have noted an increase in problems associated with religious radicalism.

So, for example, in the Gornensky Monastery only in the past year there were 3 cases of illegal entry into the territory of the monastery, one of which was associated with an attempt to break into the Kazan Church. In the past year, our courtyard in Jaffa had several cases of encroachment on church property and a blatant act of vandalism, when an unknown person, having entered the territory of the courtyard, destroyed several crosses in the Orthodox cemetery, desecrating the graves.

The Mission Compound on the shore of the Lake of Galilee in Magdala, widely known to our pilgrims due to the wonderful warm radon springs and wonderful views of the lake, has become a real “hot spot” in recent years: almost every week there are attempts to enter the territory, there were also acts of vandalism, which were even accompanied by threats against the sisters living in the courtyard. In this regard, the Russian Embassy sent several diplomatic notes to the Israeli Foreign Ministry,” the abbot said.

“Alas, this problem concerns all Christians in the Holy Land,” he added.

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