Church News weekend report

Jeff Turner

Reports of vandalism and acts of aggression against the Church in North America have been light this week.

A project to rebuild a church building destroyed by arson in British Columbia may be complete as early as June.  The rebuild of Murray Church in Merritt has been slowed because of COVID-19 restrictions. The man accused of intentionally setting fire to the structure and two other houses of worship is awaiting trial. The court has issued a publication band on any specifics of the case.

Three statues at the Holy Rosary Church in Woodland, California were vandalized this week.  No property was taken, and the motive – if any -behind the vandalism is not known. The Holy Rosary Church has been part of the Woodland community for more than 150 years.

A vandal or vandals set fire to a shrine in Ludlow, Massachusetts on Friday.  A spokesperson for Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Ludlow said damage was limited to an arch over a statue of Mary.

A Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue has been restored at St. Patrick Cathedral in El Paso, TX after a year’s work to repair $25,000 in damage caused by vandal. The Police last year charged Isiah Cantrell, 31, with vandalism and drug possession shortly after the crime.

That’s a look at crimes against the church in North America this week

Crimes against the church this week

These are some of the crimes against the church reported this week in North America. This is not intended to be an exhaustive report. It is only a sample of crimes reported by news agencies in Canada and the US over the past seven days.

Two off-duty officers in Manitoba were able to subdue a man who used profanities and flashed a gun to threaten worshipers at the Westside Community Church of Morden this past weekend. Witnesses said the man lifted his sweater, displayed a gun.  The off-duty were attending the service. They took the man into custody without any injuries.  Officers determined the man’s weapon was a fake. Dustin Warkentin, 32, is accused of weapon, assault and disturbance charges.

Investigators with the Powell County, Kentucky sheriff’s office are investigating thousands of dollars in damage caused by criminals who ransacked a church building. A sheriff’s office spokesperson said someone overturned pews, smashed holes in the walls and caused extensive damage to the sanctuary of the South Fork Church of God.  The vandal or vandals’ motive is not known.

The Knights of Columbus spent last weekend removing satanic graffiti from outside the church of St. Joseph in Washington, D.C. A vandal, or vandals, left an image of a pentagram, the word Lucifer, and some indistinguishable writing. Patrick Abbot, an officer in the Knights of Columbus, said the vandalism was like Satan’s empty promises in that they were easily washed away.

A man accused of setting a Florida church on fire last year is facing a federal hate crime’s charge.  A federal grand jury indictment was handed up Wednesday against Steven Shields, 24, of Dunnellon, Florida. A press release from the U.S. Justice Department says the indictment alleges that he was motivated to set the fire due to the religious character of the church.

Boston police are looking for a man who’s wanted in connection with two incidents of vandalism at Catholic churches in Dorchester and South Boston. Around 6:30 a.m. Monday an unknown substance was found on several doors at St. Teresa of Calcutta Church and St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester. Two hours later officers were called to St. Augustine Church in South Boston where a similar substance was found on doors and a statue was toppled.

Boston police seek man on video seen vandalizing Catholic churches

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Boston police are looking for a man who’s wanted in connection with two incidents of vandalism at Catholic churches in Dorchester and South Boston.

Around 6:30 a.m. Monday an unknown substance was found on several doors at St. Teresa of Calcutta Church and St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester. Two hours later officers were called to St. Augustine Church in South Boston where a similar substance was found on doors and a statue was toppled.

The Boston Police Department continues to review the facts and circumstances surrounding these incidents.

Texas Gospel Canada publishes reported acts of aggression against congregations in North America. An on-air weekly report is broadcast every Monday on our Southern Gospel stream.

Criminals trash Kentucky church building

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Investigators with the Powell County, Kentucky sheriff’s office are investigating thousands of dollars in damage caused by criminals who ransacked a church building.

A sheriff’s office spokesperson said someone overturned pews, smashed holes in the walls and caused extensive damage to the South Fork Church of God building. The spokesperson described walking into the damaged sanctuary as, “devastating.” 

The vandal or vandals’ motive is not known.

Texas Gospel Canada publishes reported acts of aggression against congregations in North America. An on-air weekly report is broadcast every Monday on our Southern Gospel stream.

(Powell County Sheriff’s Office)

Criminal acts against the church this week

Each week Texas Gospel Canada reports on acts of aggregation against church congregations in North America. All the reported acts this week come from the US.  It’s important to note that this is only a sample of crimes reported to local law agencies and is not intended to be an comprehensive account.

Vandals have struck the same church twice this week in Fort Worth, Texas church. Police say the building of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church received unspecified damaged on Sunday.  The criminals returned later and stole a statue from St. Thomas. The beheaded statue was found abandoned a nearby school.

A security camera caught images of a man breaking various statues at St. Pius X Catholic Church in El Paso, Tx. Video shows the man attempted to shatter windows by throwing a bottle at them. He destroyed the statues when he failed to break the windows. Police in El Paso say vandals have made recent attacks at St. Patrick Cathedral, The Abundant Living Faith Center and Destiny Family Christian Center.

Police in Central City, Kentucky say someone tore bricks out of a walkway and used them to break windows at the First Presbyterian Church.  A concrete fixture was also destroyed.

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana is working to find the person or persons responsible for ripping off a door at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Eunice.  Local media in Eunice report the criminals also left obscene graffiti in the church building.