Dec 28 2011

Cleaning turns into a broom-brawl at the Church of the Nativity

Armenian clergymen scuffle with police and Greek Orthodox clergymen
during the annual cleaning of the Church of Nativity, the
traditionally accepted birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank
town of Bethlehem, Dec.28. Several hundred clergy of different
Christian sects, as well as some faithful, pitch in to clean the
entire church, one of the oldest in the world, but with special care
taken not to overstep one's boundaries and delicate cleaning
responsibilities. The entire church is swept, dusted, cleaned with
kerosene and covered in sawdust to soak up the flammable liquid as the
church is cleaned of all the dirt accumulated in the past year and
made ready for the next year's onslaught of pilgrims, clergy and

This annual cleaning of the holy site, turned into a brawl as Armenian
Orthodox and Greek Orthodox clergymen screamed at each other and beat
each other with broomsticks inside the Church of the Nativity, when
the sides accused each other of crossing into each other's territory.

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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress