…Following the Christmas celebrations, Greek Orthodox priests set up ladders to clean the walls and ceilings of their part of the church, which is built over the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born.

But the ladders encroached on space controlled by Armenian priests [and] angry words ensued and blows quickly followed.

For a quarter of an hour bearded and robed priests laid into each other with fists, brooms and iron rods while the photographers who had come to take pictures of the annual cleaning ceremony recorded the whole event.

A dozen unarmed Palestinian policemen were sent to try to separate the priests, but two of them were also injured in the unholy melee….



  1. #1 Billy
    December 29, 2007

    I read this post (and others covering the same event) and I can’t help having that old hymn, “Onward, Christian Soldiers” running through my head.

    I do find it interesting that what set off the brawl was a ladder being placed slightly in the Armenian section. Will this create a whole new series of warning labels on ladders?

    WARNING: Placing This Ladder In Someone Else’s Religious Space May Cause Brawls