Fierce faith: Priests clash at Jesus’ birth site (VIDEO)
“God’s people” – coming from Armenian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox churches – were screaming out loud and beating one another with broomsticks, fiercely protecting their territory from the competing community’s invasion.
The row broke out when the clergymen were cleaning up the church ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations. As agreed, each of the two denominations controls a particular section of the church located right on the “border” between their zones of influence.
The brawl, which took place in front of a stunned tourist group, went so far that the Palestinian security forces had to break it up – thanks to them, no serious injuries occurred.
“No one was detained, as all of the clergymen participating in the raw are known as true people of God,” said the Palestinian police spokesman.
This is not the first time such fights have taken place in the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. Built at Jesus' traditional birthplace, the venue draws millions of visitors from around the world.