Reported crimes against the church in North America this week 1/15/2022

STAFF

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.

A Cap-Pelé man will be released while authorities prepare an arson charge for a church fire in New Brunswick church. A CBC report says Samuel Jamie Vautour is suspected of causing a fire  last month at the Saint Timothée Catholic church in Shemogue. Global News reports the building was at least 100 years old.

The congregation of Bell Memorial Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina is repairing vandalism left by criminals who damaged the building during the time the church was meeting virtually. News19 posted photos of shattered glass, bb pellets in walls and tipped over furniture.  WOLO television reports the church has been vandalized twice in the past two weeks.

A Colorado woman is charged this week with a hate crime for vandalism police say she left at a Catholic cathedral in October. The Denver Channel reports Madeline Ann Cramer, 26, spray painted references to Satan and what is described as a “homophobic slur” on church property. The District Attorney told the Denver Gazzette the graffiti include messages, “consistent with anti-Christian bias.” The Denver Post reports the criminal act caused around $10,000 in damage.

Police in Oregon are investigating what investigators describe as a possible “bias crime” after someone set a Nativity scene on fire at the infant Jesus at St. Anthony Catholic Church. The Times reports the motive for the criminal act has not yet been determined.

A report from WHIO TV 7 says a 20-year-old Ohio man is charged with felony arson, vandalism and desecration of a place of worship after police say he intentionally set multiple fire to the nativity scene in front of Hopeland Church and a van that was parked on church property. The Dayton Daily News reports Garrett Scott Cook has a January 20 court hearing for the crime. Police have not released the motive behind the criminal act.

Police in Washington, DC say they have identified a person of interest after a man was caught on video using a hammer to cause “irreparable damage” to a marble statue at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, according to a report from the National Catholic Register. The paper says the statue is valued at $250,000.

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