Israel Seizes Land from Russian Orthodox Monastery

Orthodox Monastery at the Sea of Tiberias Partially Appropriated
Natalya Mihailova | 03 October 2014
Israel Seizes Land from Russian Orthodox Monastery

The Russian Orthodox Monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene, located in Tiberias (Northern Israel)  on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, has lost part of its land because the Israeli authorities have decided to develop a recreation area there.

This monastery is located close to Magdala (modern Migdal), the town where Saint Mary Magdalene was born and the place where, according to tradition, Christ would have expelled the seven demons who were in her.

On this land, acquired in 1908 by Archimandrite Leonid Sentsov, then the director of the Russian mission in the Holy Land, Orthodox monks built a small church in the 1960’s. The garden also has warm springs withe therapeutic properties.

According to the Russian news agency Interfax, residents of the area regularly destroy the property’s fence despite a sign reading “Private  Property”, in order to swim in the hot springs and hold barbecues, leaving behind trash and unextinguished fires.

Local media even announced that a free beach was opened on the grounds. Celebrities visit the beach on holidays, loud music is played, and visitors behave in a manner that bothers the monks.

In order to prevent people from Tiberias from performing Jewish rites in the monastery basins, the mission’s monks put crucifix mosaics in them, but unknown people dismantled them and stole the tiles.

French original in La Croix here (paywall) or here.

Since you are here…

…we do have a small request. More and more people visit Orthodoxy and the World website. However, resources for editorial are scarce. In comparison to some mass media, we do not make paid subscription. It is our deepest belief that preaching Christ for money is wrong.

Having said that, Pravmir provides daily articles from an autonomous news service, weekly wall newspaper for churches, lectorium, photos, videos, hosting and servers. Editors and translators work together towards one goal: to make our four websites possible -,, and Therefore our request for help is understandable.

For example, 5 euros a month is it a lot or little? A cup of coffee? It is not that much for a family budget, but it is a significant amount for Pravmir.

If everyone reading Pravmir could donate 5 euros a month, they would contribute greatly to our ability to spread the word of Christ, Orthodoxy, life's purpose, family and society.