There seems to have been a heck of a rumble at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be the site of both Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Witnesses described a wild scene – “There was lots of hitting going on. Police were hit, monks were hit … there were people with bloodied faces…” The fight, which resulted in 12 injuries, had to be broken up by the riot police. The fight between Franciscans and Greek and Russian Orthodox clerics over an open doorway during a procession. Haaretz explains that
Custody of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is shared by several denominations that jealously guard territory and responsibilities under a fragile deal hammered out over the last centuries. Any perceived encroachment on one group’s turf can lead to vicious feuds, sometimes lasting centuries.
Apparently, fistfights between clerics are not that uncommon at the Church. Mind you, it seemed pretty chill when I was there last June. No one bothered me and I was wearing a christ-killer shirt. Go figure, huh?