200 Rioters in Moldova, Led by Priest, Destroy Menorah

Hat tip: M.C.

Unmentioned except by Israeli media: A cross was put in its place and the priest leading the attack spoke of the persecution of Christians in Soviet times. Unmentioned except by Russian media: the attack on the Russian cathedral in Israel two days before, which hosts a substantial Moldovan Orthodox Christian population. Coincedence? Well, if you wish to think so.

(AP) Dozens of people led by an Orthodox priest smashed a menorah in Moldova’s capital, using hammers and iron bars to remove the candelabra during Hanukkah, officials said.

The 1.5 meter(5-foot)-tall ceremonial candelabrum was retrieved, reinstalled and is now under police guard.

Police said they were investigating the Sunday attack but there was no official reaction from Moldova’s Orthodox Church, which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and counts 70 percent of Moldovans as members.

The U.S. Embassy and Chisinau city government condemned the attack. City officials called on the church to investigate. The head of the church, Bishop Vladimir Cantarean, was at his mother’s funeral in Ukraine on Monday and was expected to make a statement when he returns, the church said.