Known acts of vandalism and other crimes against people of faith this week

Known acts of vandalism at Christian churches in North America have been minor this week. These are the ones reported to Texas Gospel Canada:

Fox8tv reports the building belonging to the Church of the Transfiguration in Conemaugh, Pennsylvania had, “a lot of widespread damage,” as well as items related to worship stolen. WJAC TV reports the church has a 100-year history with the local community.

The Burnet Bulletin (Texas, US) reports a $25,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest in the arson of the Mahomet Christian Church and other buildings in the area.

Vandals overturned pews and damaged property at the Oakley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Missouri, USA according to a report from KRCG Television.

This report includes only acts against Christian congregations known to Texas Gospel Canada. It is not implied that these are the only acts of aggression against the Church and its property this week.

Arson, vandalism and minor damage reported this week against congregations

These are some of the crimes committed against congregations reported today in North America:

The Church of God in Aylmer, ON in has been hit by vandals four times in the past month according to a report from The London Free Press.

KSNB Television is reporting that trial set to begin for a Nebraska man accused of setting a church on fire in Buffalo County, Nebraska.

A Sacramento, California man was arrested for arson after setting a church on fire in Glenn County, California according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Unknown criminals damaged the marquee at Macedonia AME Church in Carrollton, Virginia according to The Smithfield Times.

A cathedral in Ohio was vandalized with graffiti stating, “Jesus is Black” according to the Catholic News Agency.

A Toledo, Ohio police officer and a church arson suspect were both killed in a standoff this week according to WTOL television. A sheriff’s deputy was also killed according to NBC News.

Five church buildings vandalized in same Texas community

William Desjardins

Police in Texas are looking for a man caught on video vandalizing a church building. Officers in the US say the individual may be responsible for five additional criminal acts at buildings belonging to other congregations.

Security cameras caught video of a man inside the Missionary Baptist Church of Hughes Springs, Texas, where offices were ransacked and money set aside for a congregation member’s funeral was stolen. Nearby Turkey Creek Baptist church and New Colony Baptist Church had damage to their buildings that appeared to have happened in a similar manner. Two other churches have been targeted since January.

Police have not said why the vandals targeted specifically church buildings.

Halifax Regional Police arrest men accused in five church burglaries

Jeff Turner

Two men are charged with a string of burglaries that happened at church buildings in Dartmouth, N.S. late last year. Investigators in the General Investigation Section of the Criminal Investigation Division say both men are 28. One is a resident of Dartmouth and the other is of Timberlea.

The break-ins happened between September 17 and 20. Congregations whose buildings were damaged as the pair stole their property include South End Baptist Church, Lutheran Church of our Savior, Church of the Holy Spirit, Grace Baptist Church, and St. James United Church.

Police have not said why the men targeted churches.

A press release issued late Friday says the accused men are scheduled to appear in Dartmouth Provincial Court.

What others are reporting:

Chronicle Herald: Two men charged in rash of break-ins at Dartmouth churches

CTVNews: Two men charged with breaking into five Dartmouth churches

Halifax Today: Two charged in break-ins at multiple Dartmouth churches

This building is not the church! Worshipers hold service in front of church building hours after destructive fire

William Desjardins

A church building in Dallas, Texas is a total loss following a fire Thursday.

A fire department spokesperson said fire was reported at the New Light Church in Dallas’ Pleasant Grove community around 1:30 a.m.  The building was fully involved with flames when the first crew arrived.

The Pastor of the church did a Facebook Live to show the destruction.

“This is not the New Life Church.  This is where the New Life Church congregates…. It is not the body, the members of the church, that’s the body of the New Life Church.  Tonight the Body is still intact,” said Pastor Marian Rabb standing in front of the rubble left by the fire.

An arson investigator said they received a report of a man walking away from the back of the church building around the time the fire started. It is not yet known if the fire is a case of arson.