VIDEO: Israeli Official Orders German Abbot to Hide His Cross While Visiting Western Wall

Chris Menahan
Jul. 21, 2023

Viral video shows a Catholic German abbot being ordered by an Israeli official to hide his cross while visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

From The Middle East Monitor, "Occupied Jerusalem: Israeli official asks priest to hide crucifix on visit to Western Wall":
An official at occupied Jerusalem's Western Wall asked a German Christian priest on Wednesday to hide his crucifix during a visit to the site, the Times of Israel has reported. Nikodemus Schnabel was accompanying Germany's Federal Education Minister at the time.

A reporter for German news outlet Der Spiegel filmed the incident and posted it on social media with an explanation of what happened.

Schnabel is the abbot of the Old City's Dormition Abbey. He was stopped by a woman who was said to be an employee of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the Haredi-dominated state-run body that administers the site, which is the western boundary wall of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.

According to the Israeli daily, the footage shows the Israeli official telling the priest that the crucifix he was wearing was "really big and inappropriate for this place." She asked him to cover it up.

"This is very harsh," Schnabel replied. "You are not respecting my religion. You are hindering me from my human right. This is not a provocation. I am an abbot. This is my dress. The cross is part of my dress code. I am a Roman Catholic abbot. You want me not to dress according to my faith, that is the reality."

The visit eventually went ahead as planned. Schnabel, however, continued to complain about the incident on Twitter, calling it "not so nice" and blaming the hard-right Israeli government.
Schnabel told Israel's i24NEWS that he views the incident as "a minor thing" but what he finds more problematic is that he has had Jews in Israel spit on him and attack him verbally and physically for being a Christian.

Christian leaders in the Holy Land said earlier this year that they are being viciously persecuted, attacked, spat on and abused in Israel under Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right regime and authorities are doing little to nothing to hold their abusers to account.

In March, two influential members of Israel's Knesset introduced a bill to outlaw teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Israel and sentence violators to prison.

Despite Israel's escalating human rights abuses and relentless attacks on Christians, our US Congress earlier this week welcomed Israeli President Isaac Herzog with open arms and fought among themselves over who could most slavishly show their allegiance to his foreign country.

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