Prayer is requested after a number of attacks against the Armenian community in Jerusalem.
On 11 January extremists graffitied hate speech on the exterior of buildings in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City. Slogans included “Revenge,” “Death to Christians,” “Death to Arabs and gentiles” and “Death to Armenians.”
On 26 January a group of about 40 Jewish extremists wearing masks and carrying flags led a coordinated attack on an Armenian restaurant near the New Gate, Jerusalem. Overturning and throwing chairs and breaking bottles they chanted slogans, cursing Jesus (and the Muslim Prophet Mohammed). The following day, Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa visited the restaurant owners and adjacent shopkeepers, whose businesses were the target of attacks, in a show of solidarity.
On the evening of 28 January two incidents occured in the Armenian Quarter. Without provocation a Jewish man attacked a young Armenian man, spraying him in the face with pepper spray, and hospitalising him. Later a group of extremists attempted to sieze an Armenian flag. When challenged, they ran and, encountering police, claimed there was a terror attack. The police then drew their weapons in approaching the Armenians who had opposed the extremists.
In other recent incidents, funeral notices bearing a cross were ripped down by Jewish girls passing outside the Armenian convent of St. James in the Old City and a Jewish man was caught urinating at the entrance to the same convent. Armenian priests have also been spat upon by passing Jewish passers-by and young Jews wearing hoods have been intimidating residents.
According to a member of the Armenian community, extremists have been distributing flyers around the Quarter inciting violence against Armenians.
With the installation of an apparently extreme right-wing government at the end of December, extremists have felt empowered and emboldened to attack the small Armenian community in the Old City, wanting to drive them out. Recent terror attacks in Jerusalem have increased tensions between the different religious communities. About 2000 Armenians live in the Old City and there has been an Armenian presence there since the fourth century.
- God will encourage and console Armenian Christians in the face of extremist action
- Armenian Christians will have wisdom and grace to respond appropriately.
- The Israeli security forces will diligently protect the Armenian community and apprehend those who are inciting violence.
- The different communities in Jerusalem will live in harmony and without fear