Dozens of people led by an Orthodox priest smashed a menorah in Moldova's capital capital Chisinau, 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 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 national government said in a statement that "hatred, intolerance and xenophobia" are unacceptable.
Jewish leader Alexandr Bilinkis called on the Orthodox Church to take a position over the priest's actions.
The Jewish community was thriving before World War II but there are now estimated to be just 12,000 Jews in the former Soviet Republic. Twenty years ago there were 66,000 Jews. Many immigrated to Israel.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Moldovan Priest Leads Mob in Destroying Menorah Display
from Ynet via The Vicious Babushka