The Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, a famous Christian church in Israel, was vandalized and its chalices were robbed last week, Xinhua reports. No suspects were apprehended yet.

The church is said to be the site where the Christ became radiant and spoke with Moses and Elijah. According to the New Testament, it was on Mount Tabor that God first referred to Jesus as His “son.”

The thieves destroyed religious statues and robbed a charity box and gold chalices. The Communion bread inside the chalices was thrown on the ground. Local police officials said the incident was not a Jewish hate crime since the vandals only aimed robbery. In past hate crimes, vandals damaged religious properties and left graffiti, neither of which were present at the Church of the Transfiguration.

However, Wadie Abunassar, director of the media committee of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land argued that just by breaking in into a church to steal, the perpetrators had crossed a red line.

“They may have not known the significance of the hosts in the Christian tradition, but they know the meaning of a church,” he said.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land joined other churches in a statement condemning the act as a desecration and a “heinous crime …that violates the sanctity of the holy sites.”

Sources:

Thebostonpilotcom. (2016). Thebostonpilotcom. http://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=177761

Xinhuanetcom. (2016). Xinhuanetcom. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-10/25/c_135780028.htm

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