Those wacky christians

Monks Trade Blows in Unholy Row at Jerusalem Shrine

The rooftop compound of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre bore scars of conflict on Monday after Egyptian Coptic and Ethiopian monks traded blows over a chair at the traditional site of the crucifixion of Jesus.

About 11 monks were taken to hospital after clerics from the rival sects that jealously share the courtyard on the roof of the Jerusalem shrine threw rocks, metal rods and chairs at each other in the latest chapter of a centuries-old dispute.

For the six Christian sects that jealously guard their rights at the church, enshrined in a 1757 Ottoman "status quo" law, the movement several weeks ago by one denomination of a chair into a spot claimed by another was a declaration of war.

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Published on August 6, 2002 7:30 PM.

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