Jerusalem church torched, fittings damaged

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JERUSALEM, Oct 24 (Reuters) Fire damaged chairs and other fittings at an American-run church in Jerusalem in what Israeli police said today was an arson attack on an institution that was once burned to the ground by militant Jews.

''We don't know who did this,'' local church official Joe Broom told Reuters at the Narkis Street Baptist Church, in the Jewish west of the city, where fire crews put out the blaze late yesterday. There had been no recent threats, he added.

In 1982 the church was burned down by Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Broom said, and a firebomb damaged its bookstore some years ago.

Some Jews strongly oppose what they see as efforts, especially by evangelical Americans, to convert Jews to Christianity.

REUTERS SG RK1735

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