All is calm, all is bright 0

This report is from RTT News:

Rival groups of Greek Orthodox and Armenian clerics clashed with each other at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity using broomsticks …

The clashes broke out as rival groups were cleaning the church in preparation for the Orthodox Christmas, which falls on January 7. The exchange was reportedly triggered after a Greek Orthodox priest encroached on the territory of the other group.

The fighting was halted after Palestinian policemen at the scene intervened and separated the quarreling priests using batons and shields. … The rival sections resumed their cleaning activities after the brawl ended. …

Such clashes between rival clergy members are common during joint religious or cleaning ceremonies at the Church of the Nativity. …

Just like the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem … is shared by various branches of Christianity, with each group guarding their part of the church with passion.

Great fun.

We know that fights do break out between Christian factions in the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but on reflection we think this “riot” was staged – or a real one was re-enacted – for the camera. Why otherwise would the Palestinian police appear so quickly to quell a few priests or monks with brooms? A push, a flourish of a broom or two, and in marches a phalanx of Muslim police in full riot gear, when the camera is strategically placed to catch it all.

The video was probably made for Muslim consumption, to show the Palestinian police in a powerful and effective role as peace-makers between Christian rivals. Heroes! Braving the brooms!

Making the incident even more fun, actually.


(Hat-tip Don L)

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