Row at holy shrine in Jerusalem sees police having to break up mass brawl between two sets of Christian monks
Ever seen a holy war close up? Take a look at this bizarre video of a brawl between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks in what is supposed to be one of Christianity’s most sacred places.
The monks take the bible’s exhortation to “fight the good fight” all too literally. As shocked worshipers look on in horror, the monks kick and punch each other, knocking down tapestries and decorations. One or two of the monks seem to have a handy right hook.
The fight took place in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which Christians believe marks the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. The Greeks say the Armenians interfered with their right to access a particular part of the church, while the Armenians accuse the Greeks of disrupting their celebrations of the 4th century discovery of the cross believed to have been used to crucify Jesus.
But the reasons for the brawl hardly matter – it’s an extraordinary sight which becomes even more chaotic as the Israeli police intervene to try to break up the fight. Two monks, one from each side, were detained.
An Israeli version of the film posted on Youtube has already attracted more than 10,000 hits – plus the holy war degenerates even further, with Christian commentators accusing the Israelis of exacerbating the divisions between Armenians and Greeks by posting the video on the site.