Sunday, November 04, 2012

Israeli Water Company Freezes Bank Account of Church of Holy Sepulchre

AP and AFP both report that in Israel, the bank account of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been frozen in a dispute with the Hagihon water company over payment of some $2.1 million in water bills dating back decades.  The Greek Orthodox Church claims that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre-- believed to be by the site of Jesus' crucifixion-- has always been given special treatment and exempted from water fees. It objects to this change in the status quo, and threatens to shut down the church for a day in protest. It says that an agreement had been reached to cancel the past charges and have the various denominations in the church pay their current water charges in the future. But then unexpectedly the bank account was blocked two weeks ago, interfering with the church's paying priests, monks and teachers. [Thanks to Joel Katz (Religion & State In Israel) for the lead.]