An unknown woman assaulted a Greek Catholic priest in Belgium
“It all happened very quickly,” he shared the incident details with RISU. “After the Liturgy ended, I returned to the house where I live. It's right next to the Church. When I pulled out the keys to open the door, an unknown woman ran up to me and tried to take the keys and get into the house. She failed, and started shouting that this house was hers, that the temple would soon become a mosque.”
According to the cleric, the woman was very aggressive. She referred to the Prophet Muhammad. "As I returned to the temple, she did not enter it. I was standing in the doorway, trying to calm her down, but all I heard in response was something in Arabic,” says Fr. Ivan.
The priest called the police. When they arrived, they didn't find the assailant's ID card. She tried to run away, but they stopped her and took her to the police station.
“I don't know whether this is a person with a mental disability or a religious fanatic, or perhaps it was a provocation,” the priest notes. He also suggests that the woman's aggression was caused by the fact that he was dressed in a sash.
Parishioners say they noticed this woman when they were entering the church and then when leaving. They note that her behaviour was suspicious but not aggressive.
Fr. Ivan has been in the parish for two years since this community was founded. "This is the first such situation in Ghent," he said. "We serve in the same church with the Belgian Roman Catholic community. They have the first Liturgy at 9:30, and ours is at 11:00. I live right next to the church. Although this district is mostly Muslim, I am on good terms with everyone. They all know that I am a Ukrainian priest."
The priest suggests that this woman does not live in Ghent.