The water, which rose up to the chandeliers of the Church of All Nations, trapped five Greek Orthodox monks and nuns, who were pulled out with ropes. Church officials said important artifacts, including an icon of Mary, were destroyed. The church was built in 1924 in the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus came with the disciples after the last supper and where he was betrayed.
Brother Barnavas, a Greek Orthodox monk, said there was some flooding at the site every year, but recent building had directed more rainwater toward the church.
Linda Menuhin, a police spokeswoman, said the water rose 50 feet after being trapped in the church compound.