An Evangelical church near the Old City of Jerusalem was ransacked and virtually destroyed earlier in late November by Muslim vandals in what church members say is part of a years-long pattern of harassment and attacks.
The “Living Bread Church”, led by pastor Karen Dunham, has been targeted since 2014 by a gang of local Muslims, who harassed church members and regularly stole property.
Until now, Dunham has refrained from turning to the police.
Dunham says the vandals claim the church owes back rent for two years and have sought to evict the congregation, though she insists the church is up to date on payments for its 20-year lease.
“We have the legal right to be there right now,” she said. “Our rent is paid till next year.
Despite the history of harassment, Dunham and the church’s congregants were shocked to find the building ransacked, with most of the church’s property – as well as Dunham’s private belongings – stolen or burned in a nearby dumpster.
The building housing the church was destroyed, with flooring removed and walls smashed.
“They destroyed everything inside,” said Dunham, calling the incident an act of terror. “That dumpster right there is full of stones. They tore out the floor. They pulled out the wiring. They punched holes in the walls.”