JERUSALEM – An Israeli member of parliament destroyed a copy of the New Testament to denounce the sending of this book to the members of Parliament (The Knesset), which he has judged contemptible. The lawmaker is one of the 120 MPs who have received by mail a copy of the “New Testament” from the Bible Society in Israel.

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS) has issued the following statement regarding:

PRESS RELEASE: By publicly ripping a copy of the New Testament, responsible, according to Michael Ben Ari (Member of the Israeli opposition National Union Party) for the death of millions of people during the Inquisition, the lawmaker has encouraged a campaign of violent provocation. According to him, “This book and those who sent it ought to be thrown into the dustbin of history.”

The AOCTS said it is shocked and condemns this disrespectful act towards Christians who are despised in their faith.

The AOCTS condemns this act of ripping and condemns the outrageous comments of deputy Michael Ben Ari.

The AOCTS criticizes at the same time the Israeli Bible Society’s ways of doing things. It is not nice to send the New Testament by mail, both out of respect for the Word of God, and out of respect for those who do not share the same Christian faith. Interreligious dialogue will not bear fruit unless through words and gestures of mutual respect.

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