Attack Baptist House
Feb 19th, 2012
Late Sunday night, Feb 19, 2012, "Price-Tag"
vandals attacked Baptist House, home of the Narkis Street
Congregation, spraying multiple slurs against Jesus and his followers:
"Jesus son of a whore"
"We will crucify you"
"Jesus, son of Mary, the whore"
"Death to Christians"
"Jesus is dead"
Besides defacing the church's walls, the attackers
also damaged three vehicles in the Baptist House parking lot.
The cars also were spraypainted in slurs and had their tires slashed.
The next morning, Monday, Feb 20, Baptist staff
along with Pastor Chuck Kopp met with the Jerusalem police, the
Israeli government's Christian Communities Liaison Officer, the
Advisor to the Mayor for Religious Communities, and media members
to report and discuss the attack.
The next day, Tuesday, Feb 21, a small gathering
was held in the chapel with Dr. Moti Zaken, Special Advisor to
the Minister of Internal Security of the Israeli government. Dr.
Zaken proclaimed his solidarity with all of us on the corner of
4 Narkis Street along with other Christian residents of Jerusalem.
Our congregation has been down this path before...
1982, October, our original chapel was burnt
down by arsonists
Liz Kopp recalls from that 1982 attack, "Among
all the letters, cards, and bouquets the most poignant expression
of solidarity was left by an elderly holocaust survivor in the
form of a single red rose thrust between the charred piano keys."
2007, November, our new chapel was attacked
by arsonists but ultimately did not succeed this time
This corner where our church has met for decades
has been the object of violence and vandalism multiple times including
rocks, fire bombs, and molotov cocktails through our windows,
and the detonation of a paint can filled with nails at one of
our entrances. In each and every instance, God's grace has prevailed
and not one person has been killed or maimed.
We will not grow weary in well doing and will not
cease in being the light that inspires our neighbors to glorify
the Father. We will continue to be the salt that causes people
to thirst for the Truth (Matt 5:13-16).
Thank you for your prayers and support that helps
us spread the Good News.
Narkis Street Congregation, October 2012,
it has been 30 years since our original chapel was burnt down.
Letters from Neighbors and
"dear narkis community,
i was deeply saddened to hear today of the
attack perpetrated against you three days ago. this is absolutely
our psalms speak of jerusalem as a city in which people pursue
peace. i can think of no worse way people can be acting in such
a city as to perform acts of hate and terror like these.
we say in the jewish tradition, "kol yisrael arevim
zeh la zeh," each Jew is responsible one for another. so,
i felt compelled to write in and express to you my absolute condemnation
of such a despicable act.
in peace and solidarity..."
Dear Pastor Kopp,
I want to express my deep sympathy over the attack on your
church, and to condemn these actions. As an American Jew with
close ties to Israel, I feel that these events are unfortunately,
the work of a few extremists, who claim to represent a larger
population than they actually do. The important thing is that
as servants of one G-d, we can work together to spread His messages
of love and unity throughout the world, and together triumph over
such harmful actions as these. Sending prayers to you and your
community at this time,
I just received an email about the vandalism that has happened
to your place of worship. While I am sure you already know this,
I just wanted to say as an American Jew who is often in Israel
that these attacks in no way represent us as a community. I hope
you can continue to feel safe and secure in your place of worship,
as well as at home in Israel and in Jerusalem.
Message:For Narkis Street Congregation.
From an observant Jew living in Boston, as a small gesture of
support in response to the disgusting act of vandalism for which
Jews worldwide feel shame and remorse.
Dear members of the Narkis Baptist congregations,
Like many Jews around the world, I am truly horrified to
hear and see the pictures of what has happened to you in recent
days. All the more so to learn that this is not the first such
attack you have suffered. A onetime frequent visitor to Jerusalem,
I passed by your site many times and can picture its tranquility
in my mind's eye.
How can we explain such behavior on the part of Jews? How
can they/we not know better? Do all the lessons of Jewish history
mean nothing? My heart breaks at the thought that members of my
people, now for the first time in a majority, act in this horribly
un-Jewish and un-Biblical way toward "strangers" in
If I search for explanation, as I must, I find it mostly
in the depth of still unhealed wounds. Centuries of persecution
and degradation leave deeper marks than we can plummet, as we
see with various populations who are at once liberated and yet
still stuck in the patterns wrought by the chains of their old
life. I pray that you - who are so well-trained in forgiveness
- will be able to forgive them, for your own healing as well as
theirs. I do hope that the Israeli leadership finds a way to identify,
punish, and re-educate them, for their sake and for the sanity
and wholeness of our Jewish body politic, which is as gravely
wounded as you are by this awful act.
Peace and blessings to you.
Hello Narkis Street Congregation,
I just read the story about the attack on the church. Having lived
in Israel during college, I have a deep and abiding love for the
country and its people. I am very grieved and worried to hear
of violence being perpetrated against you.
I am praying that you will not lose heart, that the Lord
will keep you safe, and that you would be a shining light of the
Gospel in the Holy Land.
"Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus
from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood
of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work
to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
Regarding the wave of anti-Christian “price-tag”
attacks in Israel in 2012...
“We made it clear that we hold no grudge
or personal animosity or are seeking revenge,” said Rev.
Charles Kopp, the senior pastor of the Narkis Street
Congregation.“But we feel for the sake of civic
order that the arm of the law needs to take care of the situation.”
Quote from the Christian-Jewish Solidarity Gathering
at Baptist House, Oct 23, 2012
Reception at Baptist House
Oct 23rd, 2012
In response to the outbreak of multiple anti-Christian
attacks by the "Price-Tag"
group, Narkis Street Congregation hosted a Christian-Jewish
Solidarity Reception at Baptist House on Oct 23, 2012.
from the Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Public Security
Ministry were invited.
Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu (pictured
above), Dr. Moti Zaken, Special Advisor to the
Minister of Internal Security on Minority Affairs, Prof.
Elihu D. Richter, founder of the Jerusalem Center for
and Rabbi Ada Zavidov (left) of the neighboring
synagogue Kehilat Har-El, shared their support for Christians
in the Holy Land and the need to apprehend the criminals responsible
for the recent string of attacks against Christian holy places.
Since 2005, the "Price-Tag"
group has especially attacked Arab property including mosques.
Pepe Alalu emphasized that “Jerusalem has
to be a model of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.” While
Moti Zaken (left) declared that “we are here to express
solidarity. We are here to express sympathy, but let me be very
clear. Solidarity and sympathy is not enough. We have to act.
We have to act through education. We have to act through pressure.”
Besides Chuck Kopp, pastor of
Narkis Street Congregation, Chad Knight, Business
Manager of the Baptist Convention in Israel, David Pileggi,
Rector of Christ Church in the Old City, and Malcolm Lowe
of the Ecumenical Theological Fraternity in Israel, spoke on behalf
of Christians urging the Israeli authorities to do their uptmost
to end these attacks.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat personally
called to offer his apologies for not being able to attend the
Solidarity Reception. He intends to attend the upcoming Dec 13th
Christmas-Hanukkah Reception at Baptist House to deliver a speech
of solidarity then.
For more on the Solidarity Reception,
Israeli Jews Fight Persecution Together," CBN, Nov 1, 2012
solidarity arising from ‘price tag’ hits on churches,"
Jerusalem Post Christian Edition, November 2012
leaders: Arrest ‘price-tag’ vandals," Jerusalem
Post, Oct 23, 2012
Price-Tag Attacks Against
Christian Holy Places in
of the Cross, Feb 7, 2012
Baptist House, Narkis Street, Feb 19, 2012
Monastery, Sept 4, 2012
of the Dormition on Mount Zion, Oct 2, 2012
George Romanian Orthodox Church, Oct 8, 2012
Reports on and Responses
to the Feb 19th, 2012 Attack on Baptist House at Narkis St.:
Video (37 sec) of Pastor Chuck Kopp
Video (2 min 12 sec)
of the Attack
Photos from Demotix News
asks Peres to help find 'price tag' culprits", Haaretz,
Feb 27, 2012
from Kehilat Har-El, neighboring reform synagouge to Narkis
daub death threats on Jerusalem Baptist church", Reuters/AP,
Yahoo, AFP, ABC, etc
Christians are latest targets in recent spate of 'price tag' attacks",
price tag attack against J'lem church", Jerusalem Post
Church Defaced with Hateful Graffiti", by Julie Stahl,
Baptist Church Vandalized", in Terra Santa
against Baptist Church in Jerusalem, mosques elsewhere, reprehensible
and should be denounced", by Rabbi Dow Marmur in the
tag attack on J’lem church provokes religious condemnation",
by Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopinin, +972 Magazine
on the Wall: Israel and Its Christians", by David Rosenberg,
The Media Line (Opinion)