Israel Police ready for Christian crazies

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Israeli police department this month activated a special unit established years ago to deal with the annual phenomenon of Christian tourists who during their visit to Israel develop "Jerusalem Syndrome," a psychological condition that causes a person to believe they are a biblical character.

Police officials cited by Israel National News said the number of visitors suffering from Jerusalem Syndrome always spikes around Christmas and Passover. Thirty to 40 Christian tourists are hospitalized every year with symptoms of Jerusalem Syndrome. Most recover after about a week.

Some, however, have had long careers roaming Jerusalem's streets in antiquated garb preaching loudly on public streets and at holy sites.

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