Monks Gone Wild: Sects Rumble in Jerusalem Holy Site


Professional wrestling prospects? Orthodox monks in Jerusalem's old city (Flash90)


Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the scene of a wild melee between Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox monks. The monks went at each other with gusto, throwing punches and throwing each other to the ground, resisting efforts by Israeli police to separate the rioters.

Israeli police had to rush into the church, arresting two clergyman after an argument between monks erupted into a brawl next to Jesus' tomb.

The clash broke out in the church revered as the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection, perhaps the holiest site in the world for Christians.

The punch-up took place after the Armenian clergymen marched in an annual procession commemorating the 4th-century discovery of the cross, believed to have been used to crucify Jesus.

Riot police eventually subdued a bearded Armenian monk and a Greek Orthodox monk with a bloody gash on his forehead. Both were taken away in handcuffs. Six Christian sects divide control of the ancient church and regularly fight over turf and influence. But the fights rarely make it to YouTube.

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