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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CHURCH / Tunisia: Vandalism of Orthodox Church in Tunis

Further Vandalism of Orthodox Church in Tunis

From the Tunisian newspaper Business News. French originalhere.

Non-Muslim places of worship are being targeted by still-unidentified individuals. After the attacks perpetrated against the Orthodox church on Avenue Mohamed V, the Russian school located behind the church as well as the Christian cemetery of Montplasir in Tunis have been vandalized. 

The walls of the school were smeared with fecal matter, as also a fresco of Saint Siberian [sic] located in the back courtyard of the Orthodox church, while the cemetery's crosses were destroyed. 

Yamina Thabet, the president of the Tunisian Society for Aid to Minorities (ATSM), indicated during a conference held April 4, 2012 at the headquarters of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists that the government is responsible for the protection of minorities in Tunisia, a protection that is imperative in the face of these repeated assaults. She especially lamented the government's manifest indifference with regard to minorities' right to protection.

According to the newspaper Le Maghreb, a Salafist burst into the church during April to deliver a letter from an Islamist party called "Hizb Allah" [not to be confused with the Lebanese party of the same name], inviting the archpriest to convert to Islam or to take down his church's crosses and pay the "jizya", a tribute that non-Muslims were required to pay at the beginning of the Islamic era [and oftentimes since then]. 

We note as well that the prosecutor of the Republic has ordered, Thursday April 5, an investigation to be opened within the context of the complaint filed by the ATSM regarding the calls made to kill Jews, according to the declaration of Ms. Thabet Thursday on Mosaïque FM.