Christian tourist who went missing in Israeli desert may have had 'Jerusalem Syndrome'

A Christian tourist from Northern Ireland is missing in the Israeli desert, having left a trail of pages from the Bible behind him.

Search teams believe he may have been suffering from delusions known as 'Jerusalem Syndrome', according to the Daily Telegraph.

Friends of Oliver McAfeeOliver McAfee went missing in the Negev Desert.

Oliver McAfee, 29, was on a cycling tour through the Negev region when he disappeared in late November. Authorities originally believed he got lost, but Bible pages weighted down with rocks led them to believe he was suffering from the syndrome that sees visitors to the Holy Land experience religious delusions.

Searchers also found a 'rocky chapel' on top of a ridge, where McAfee had cleared a circle of stones and used a bicycle tool to flatten the sand.

One searcher, Raz Arbel, said: 'He seems to have been doing all kinds of ceremonies that we don't really understand.'

McAfee, a devout Christian, had suffered from depression in Britain and had travelled throughout much of 2017, the Telegraph said.

He was last seen on November 1 by an American tourist.

Psychiatrist Dr Moshe Kalian said: 'I have never met this man, but from the reports that he was involved in some kind of religious experience in the desert, it certainly sounds like it could be a case of Jerusalem Syndrome.'

He said the condition 'is not a mental disease by itself but is usually superimposed on top of a background of mental distress or disease that a patient has. Their psychotic ideas often lead them on a mission to Jerusalem.'

Searchers believe McAfee may have died in the desert, though it is possible he may have hitchhiked away.

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