MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry urged Israel’s authorities to take measures to prevent the desecration of Orthodox churches and investigate an incident in a chapel in Jerusalem, according to a commentary by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova published on Wednesday.
"In relation to this, it is not possible to call it an accident that on June 6, about 50 aggressively-bent Israelis demonstratively burst into a chapel belonging to the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and desecrated it. We see this provocation as an open challenge, and a flagrant indication of the willingness of radical religious forces to start oppressing the Orthodox in the Holy Land," the diplomat noted. "We are urging the Israeli authorities to take effective measures on preventing such acts, conduct an objective investigation of the incident and punish those guilty," she said.
The spokeswoman noted that Moscow raised serious concerns over the situation unfolding around the Christian presence in Jerusalem and resolutely intends to attain a respectful attitude to the guarantees of the rights and freedoms of believers. "We intend to further support the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem which plays the most important part in ensuring social and religious peace," she added. "Actions depriving the patriarchate of control over contested sites in the very heart of Jerusalem’s Old City’s Christian quarter that have already provoked violence and led to the violation of the status quo and the interreligious balance in the sacred location for three world’s religions cannot be allowed," the diplomat concluded.