According to the World Council of Churches, protesters "would have chanted insults, spat at participants and smashed windows" in Jerusalem's Archaeological Park, the Davidson Center.
On May 28, hundreds of Christians had gathered for a prayer rally at the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, the Davidson Center, on the occasion of "Pentecost 2023 - A worldwide day of prayer for Jerusalem and the Nations".
According to organizers, the event "will mark the beginning of a decade of prayer, evangelism and discipleship, launching a ten-year journey of global collaboration between believers in Israel and nations, churches of all denominations, mission organizations and ministries".
But dozens of opponents to this gathering, presented by the The Jerusalem Post as Orthodox Jews, demonstrated against their presence, shouting "missionaries, go home".
כך נראית עליונות יהודית וייהוד ירושלים - עכשיו ליד הכותל - סגן ראש עי ריית ירושלים אריה קינג מוביל הפגנה נגד נוצרים שזקוקים לליווי משטרת י כדי להיכנס, כשברקע ההמון קורא להם מיסיונרים לכו הביתה. שבוע שעבר זה היה מצעד הדגלים, עכשיו זו קבוצה של נוצרים ומה יהיה בשב וע הבא? pic.twitter.com/hGYdAepTyL— עמק שווה (@EmekShavehHeb) May 28, 2023
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, in remarks echoed by The Times of Israel, that he condemned "any attack on the freedom of religion and worship in Jerusalem" and any attack against religious figures in the city.
He also recalled that this freedom is "sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims, as a central value in the fabric of life in the city".
The World Council of Churches (COE) specifies that a “prominent far-right rabbi” and a deputy mayor of Jerusalem were among the demonstrators and adds that demonstrators “would have chanted insults, spat on participants and smashed windows”.
Its general secretary, Jeremy Pillay, recalls that "the WCC has always affirmed the long-standing idea that Jerusalem is a holy city shared by three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and violations of the status quo lead to division, difficulties and violence".
He "urges the support of the international community and all people of good will to ensure that Jerusalem remains a city that respects the rights of all inhabitants of the Holy Land".