Reported crimes against the church in North America this week 1/8/2022

This is a list of this week’s reported crimes against Christian congregations and church property in North America. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. These are only those that have come to our attention through media reports.

MONDAY JAN 3, 2022

A church in Sherburne, New York celebrated a grand re-opening this weekend after an arsonist destroyed the congregation’s sanctuary in 2020.  WKTV reports The Lighthouse Community Church has since changed its name to Epicenter Ministries.

Police in Vandalina, Ohio are investigating a threatening message and nearly $10,000 in damage done to property owned by Hopeland Church.  WDNT reports it was the second incident of vandalism at the church

TUESDAY, JAN 4, 2022

A Smithville, Tennessee man is set to make a court appearance on Jan 13 after police say he spray painted the side a church and left a note on the door saying, “Be a real shame to lose your church because of terrorists.” WJLE radio reported the graffiti included a message ordering the church to stop loaning its building out. 

WEDNESDAY, JAN 5, 2022

Bond for an Ohio man was set Wednesday at $50,000 after police say he set fire to a nativity scene and a van at the Hopeland Church in Vandaila, Ohio.  The Journal-News of Butler County, Ohio reports Garrett Scott Cook, 20, is charged with vandalism and desecration of a place of worship.

THURSDAY, JAN 5, 2022

Police in Summerville, South Carolina are looking for the person or persons who smashed windows and set fires inside the Flowertown Baptist Church building.  Live5News reports some items were also stolen from the church.

FRIDAY, JAN 6, 2022

Arson investigators have not yet determined the cause of a fire at the River of Life Church in Munford, Tennessee. The AtokA Fire Department posted photos of the blaze on social media.

A Texas man is sentenced to 20 years in prison for burning down a church building.  CBS 19 reports Paul Wayne Kennedy pleaded guilty to arson with intent to damage a habitat or place of worship in connection with a fire at the Shell’s Temple Church of God in Christ.

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