Attacks on Jerusalem Church Met with Official Indifference

Thursday, November 13, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro

Police have refused to respond to a series of crimes ranging from theft to an assault in October that bloodied three Christians, according to Morning Star News.

The attacks -- apparently driven by a desire to seize property as well as an open hostility to Christianity -- have been from young Palestinians who have been trying to force Living Bread Church from its rented building in East Jerusalem.

Living Bread Pastor Karen Dunham and others have filed at least eight police reports, but the local branch of the national police have done nothing to address them.

Danny Povolotski -- an Israeli citizen and Messianic Jew -- said the police response would be different if Jews were the ones being attacked.

"If it was Jews, there would be choppers there and tanks. I really believe most of the indifference of the police is because she's [Dunham] not a Jew, she's a Christian."

But while police have yet to take any action, local government officials have harassed Living Bread for trivial building infractions. For example, a municipal official had demanded that Dunham remove a cross painted on the archway of the church building.

I was told to remove the "graffiti" because it was lowering the property value of the surrounding buildings, said Dunham. Yet my neighbor is adding an illegal third story and there's a house squatting on church property and I'm the one cited for a cross on my door?

After Dunham painted over the cross, someone secretly painted new crosses over the old one and she was cited. For Dunham, this suggests that the local Palestinian-run branch of the municipal government is giving information to the very culprits harassing her congregation.

Atacks against Living Bread's congregation have been violent. In September, a Palestinian broke Dunham's wrist when he shoved her to the ground after stalking her though the neighborhood. Another Palestinian assaulted a church volunteer as he emptied trash into a dumpster outside the church building.

In fact, Living Bread parishioners aren't safe anywhere near their church; they have been spat on, hit with pepper spray and even urine.