Priests brawl in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity
Scuffles have broken out between rival groups of Greek Orthodox and Armenian clerics in a turf war at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity.
Bemused tourists looked on as about 100 priests fought with brooms while cleaning the church in preparation for Orthodox Christmas, on 7 January.
Palestinian police armed with batons and shields broke up the clashes
Previous clashes between the denominations which share the administration of the church have been sparked by perceived encroachments on one group's territory by another.
....while others use words or religious rules or traditions. Regardless, when Christians attack one another in front of the world in squabbles over territory, pride or rights it brings shame on the name of Christ. Undoubtedly these men thought they were being pious in defending their "territory" and yet they were brawling in a shrine commemorating the birth of Christ, a birth heralded by the words: "on earth peace, good will toward men". I guess peace and goodwill unless you try cleaning on our sacred turf.
What a picture this sordid event is of the general disunity in the church, a disunity driven by money and prestige and power, all of the things that we are warned about in the New Testament that serve to divide the church.