Rabbis Call for Prayer Vigils to Counter 'Abomination' March

Julie Stahl | Jerusalem Bureau Chief | Monday, November 6, 2006

Rabbis Call for Prayer Vigils to Counter 'Abomination' March

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Israel's religious leaders are calling for a peaceful prayer protest on Friday to counter a homosexual parade scheduled to take place that same day in Jerusalem.

The parade, sponsored by Jerusalem Open House, the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender center, has infuriated the city's religious Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Members of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community have been rioting in their neighborhoods for the last week, upset that the homosexual event will take place in a city that three major religions revere as holy.

Police on Sunday urged cancellation of the parade for security reasons. Police argued that in the circumstances, the potential danger to life outweighed freedom of expression.

But Israel's Attorney General Menachem Mazuz ordered the parade to take place as planned.

Mazuz instructed police to discuss the possibility of another parade route, and he recommended that a "more modest" parade be held, but it's not clear what he meant by that.

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate - the official religious leadership of the country -- issued a statement on Monday calling on Israelis to hold peaceful prayer vigils at 10 a.m. Friday as a way of opposing the "abomination march in the Holy City."

Other rabbis circulated a letter calling on Jerusalem residents to refrain from violence but expressing neither support nor opposition to the parade.

More than 10,000 police officers will be on duty in Jerusalem when the parade kicks off, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

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