Random attacks on churches and church property

These are some of the latest attacks on the church and church property as reported by news agencies around the world.

9/20/2020 4 Dartmouth churches broken into over 2 days – Halifax Regional Police are investigating after a string of church break-ins around Dartmouth, N.S – CBC

9/20/2020 Adam Schiff: Arson at Armenian church in San Francisco despicable  The devastating fire – caused by arson – at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco is despicable. Those responsible for this act of hate must be swiftly brought to justice,” Schiff said in a Facebook post. – Public Radio of Armenia 

9/20/2020 Suspect Caught On Camera Vandalizing Pleasant Hill Church – We’re more concerned with someone’s spiritual condition and just how they’re managing life and the Lord that way,” said Pastor Denny – KPIX5

9/16/2020 US Church’s Community-Made Altars Defaced Altars that have stood at the entrance of the former St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church for more than a year were vandalized this week. – BC Chicago

9/8/2020 Attacks on French churches back to ‘normal’ level after lockdown, say young Catholics  A spokesperson for the group Protège ton église (Protect Your Church) told CNA Sept. 6: “It is clear that the pandemic led to a decrease in attacks against churches, at least during the period of confinement.” – CNS

9/4/2020 Arraignment rescheduled in US church arson Arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 5 for a St. Louis man accused of starting a fire that heavily damaged Dow South Baptist Church in late July. – My Journal Courier

8/25/2020 Arson investigation: NY sheriff’s office seeking tips on Bible burning – The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fire investigators say appears to have been intentionally set at the Lima Presbyterian Church early Sunday morning.  Livingston County News

8/25/2020 Attempted arson at Mich church building –  Church members found a bottle on the ground that appeared to have a flammable liquid inside. Investigators say the bottle was thrown at a window in an attempt to damage the church – WOOD TV

8/21/2020 US church burglary suspects arrested in Florida Daniel Cruz Britt, of Pontotoc, and Kalley Breanne Foreman have been arrested for burglaries that occurred at Moss Hill Baptist Church and Calvary Methodist Church – New Albany Gazette

8/20/2020 Purcell police investigating after vandals damage church  Investigators say a vandal threw a rock through a stained glass window, which is going to cost about $5,000 to repair. KFOR

8/20/2020 Catholic statue beheaded, devotional candles destroyed at church Devotional candles at an outdoor prayer shrine were also destroyed. 9News

8/19/2020 Assault with a hammer; church window smashed Belleville police were called to a church on Harder Drive for a report of mischief. Someone had broken a window at the church overnight Monday. – The Intelligencer

8/19/2020 Arson investigation opened after fire damages church in Oregon – Pastor Tim Sanchez had expected to fly out Wednesday, Aug. 19, to spend his birthday with his children and grandchildren. – East Oregonian

8/14/2020 Police arrest Buffalo man who allegedly vandalized churches Blane Mitchel McCabe, 27, of Buffalo, is charged with two counts of second-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree criminal mischief. – Quad-City Times

8/12/2020 istoric Maryland Church Is A Victim Of Arson, Authorities Exploring Possible Hate Crime Two fires were set purposely on Sunday on the property of Judah Temple Ministries, a 123-year-old predominantly Black church, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland – DCist 

8/10/2020 Pastor of Ohio church damaged by vandals says he would ‘love to see a turnaround for them’ The pastor of a Boardman church hit by vandalism this month said he hopes those responsible can eventually turn their lives around. – WKBM

8/10/2020 Arson suspected after Sydney Community Church damaged by fire  The fire marshal’s office is investigating a suspected arson at the Sydney Community Church in Sydney, N.S. –CTV

8/9/2020 St. Thomas church left a mess after music recording equipment stolen: police The St. Thomas Police Service is investigating after music recording equipment was stolen from a local church. – CBC

8/8/2020 Priest, a seminary rector, slain in El Salvador A Roman Catholic priest has been shot to death along a road in El Salvador and church authorities on Saturday called for investigation of the slaying. – CityNews

8/7/2020 Montana church vandalized with upside-down crosses, pentagrams and 666 Creative art pastor Scott Moore said he arrived at the church around 6:30 a.m. Friday and discovered the vandalism. – NBC Montana

8/4/2020 Fourth church added to list of places targeted by vandal or vandal in Texas City  San Angelo, Texas Police are still searching for a vandal, or vandals, who damaged the churches on July 20 between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight. – Concho Valley News

8/4/2020 Firefighters believe Molotov cocktail was thrown at US church The incendiary device extinguished on its own but not before charring the door and door jam. – 7 News Boston

8/3/2020 Weymouth Police investigating possible arson at local church The front doors to the church were found burned with broken glass on the ground and the pastor says there was smoke damage inside the building. – Boston 25

8/3/2020 SAPD Searching for Information on Recent Church Vandalism San Angelo, Texas Police Department issued a notice Monday asking for the public’s help in finding the suspects responsible for vandalism at churches around town. – San Angelo Live 

8/3/2020 Teens arrested for vandalism of US churches Police Chief Nathan Gohlke said 17-year-old Nickolas Harborth and a 15-year-old juvenile whose name was not released because of his age were arrested following an investigation into the painting of graffiti on the Mount Calvary Church of God in Christ and a rock was thrown through a window of the Sweet Home Baptist Church across the street. – Fox 44

8/3/2020 Community fundraise to protect Holy Trinity Church for vandals The petition, which so far has raised £1,350 to go towards repairs and extra security, reads: “Theale in the main is a very peaceful and respectable place to live, where every resident should be able to feel safe and not intimidated. – The Reading Chronicle 

8/3/2020 Nicaraguan bishops denounce Managua cathedral arson attack as ‘terrorism’  The Nicaraguan bishops’ conference has called an arson attack on the Managua cathedral “an act of terrorism,” but vowed not to be intimidated as a government campaign of intolerance targeting the Catholic Church turns increasingly cruel and involves acts of sacrilege. – CatholicPhilly

8/3/2020 Arson investigators probe incident at Weymouth church A worker at Sacred Heart Church in Weymouth confirmed that arson investigators were on scene around 12:30 p.m. on Monday – Boston Herald

8/1/2020 Satanic symbols and desecrated statues: Several U.S. Catholic churches vandalized, attacked during July In the U.S. this month, several Catholic churches have been vandalized by unknown individuals. –  CHVN 92.1 FM

8/1/2020 Fire at church in Georgia fire ruled arson The building was being used for outdoor church services and it was determined to be deliberately set on fire by unknown person(s). US Law Enforcement

8/1/2020 Nicaragua: Chapel gutted in arson attack on Cathedral Witnesses say a hooded man entered the Chapel of the Blood of Christ on Friday and threw a petrol bomb. The fire that ensued engulfed a 400-year-old crucifix housed in the chapel. – ICN 

7/30/2020 EDMONTON – Church destroyed in one of two ‘suspicious’ rural fires Two fires that happened the same night within five kilometres of each other in Two Hills County are being investigated by RCMP as suspicious. – CTV

7/30/2020 Man, 34, Arrested For Vandalizing Churches, Worship Halls in US Natalee A. Hamilton, 34, was charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, Middletown Police Chief R. Craig Weber said.  – Daily Voice

7/29/2020 Calgary police release video of vandalism at Sacred Heart Church Calgary police have released CCTV footage of two people spray painting a statue of Jesus Christ in front of Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday, July 13, 2020. ​ – Global News

7/29/2020 ‘I’ll be on Satan’s lap:’ Sheriff’s deputies searching for suspect(s) in church vandalism The Gatesville Police Department and the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public in locating the suspects who damaged a church in Gatesville. ABC 25

7/29/2020 Gold Hill church tired of vandalism uses sign to offer a choice to the culprit A country church in the US is having a lot of trouble with a doughnut maker. He doesn’t make the sweet treats, he leaves the skid marks all over the new parking lot, and he’s been doing it night after night. –WBTV

7/29/2020 Fire torches Catholic parish offices, chapel in North Carolina A fire tore through the parish offices of a historic Catholic church in Monroe, North Carolina early Monday morning, and though the damage is extensive, the church’s pastor is thankful that the blaze did not touch the main sanctuary or the Blessed Sacrament. – Catholic News Agency

7/28/2020 Photos released in US church arson investigation The century-old Harmony Baptist Church was fully involved when crews arrived on scene and the fire was extinguished about 1:30 a.m. July 6. DSJ Now

7/28/2020 Devastating Holy Trinity church fire was deliberately set Devastating Holy Trinity church fire was deliberately set Investigators have determined that the fire that destroyed Holy Trinity church in Two Hills County was deliberately set, and may be linked to another in the area on the same night. – Grandin Media

7/28/2020 Florida Church Rebuilding After Arson Attack The Catholic community at Queen of Peace Parish in Ocala, Florida is rebuilding after the church was set on fire earlier this month. – National Catholic Register

7/28/2020 A suspect has been arrested after multiple houses of worship were vandalized in New Jersey. A woman was arrested in the US for vandalism of church property and an attack on a police officer who arrested her. – WABC | NBC4 New York

7/27/2020 Thieves defecated in the foyer of a 115-year-old Bronx church  ‘Can’t they see this is the house of God?’ Devastated Pastor hits out at thieves who defecated in the foyer of a 115-year-old Bronx church before stealing $8,000 in electronic equipment – The American Reporter

7/27/2020 Several juveniles accused of vandalizing US church; arrest warrants issued for others Officials say units responded to the Church of God in the 2500 block of Maryus Road regarding a trespassing in progress. Once inside, deputies discovered that several individuals had gone inside of the closed down church, damaged property within and took a painting belonging to the church. – WAVY

7/27/2020 New Jersey man charged in church vandalism Stephen Grosso of Fair Haven was charged via mail summons with criminal mischief, according to police. Grosso, 30, was skateboarding behind St. James Church on Broad Street on June 13 when the individual pushed over a religious depiction of the Holy Family. Video surveillance posted by Red Bank Green shows the Fair Haven resident knocking over the statue and skating away around 4 p.m. that afternoon – Patch

7/27/2020 California parish restores vandalized Our Lady of Guadalupe statue On July 21, security cameras at St. Joseph Parish in Upland, California, captured a video of a young man approach a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe and kick the statue repeatedly until it fell from its base. – Catholic News Agency

7/25/2020 Man arrested in connection with Delaware church fire: A Glasgow, Delaware man has been accused of setting multiple fires inside a church sanctuary. – WTOP Television.

7/25/2020 Preacher willing to sit down, talk with person who vandalized Oklahoma City churchThe preacher of Crown Heights Baptist Church told KOCO 5 he’s willing to sit down with the person responsible to discuss what sparked the act of vandalism. Dr. Joe Cannon also said he’s willing to share his thoughts and hear theirs. KOCO 5 Television

7/25/2020 Anti-Christian attacks rise in Europe Since 2010, the Paris-based L’Observatoire de la Christianophobie (Observatory of Christianophobia) has chronicled anti-Christian incidents in France and around the world. – Herald Malaysia Online 

7/24/2020 Delaware community gathers in prayer for man accused of burning church Pastor Chuck Betters led a group in prayer saying, “Lord I pray for the individual who did this.” WPVI Television

7/24/2020 Man started church fire ‘out of vengeance and anger,’ investigators say Court documents obtained by Delaware Online/The News Journal also state that Thomas Loftis III threw video equipment and musical instruments after making his way into Reach Church Monday night.

7/24/2020 Churches vandalized across the US The reports come amid a national debate over what to do about offensive and controversial statues. – Tennessee Tribune

7/24/2020 Bronx Church Vandalized, Pastor Says At Least $10,000 In Damage VIDEO – The search is on for a group of vandals who ripped apart a century-old church in the Bronx. CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reports.CBS New York

7/23/2020 Fire Marshal Says Delaware Church Fire Causing $250K in Damages Was Arson  A fire inside the sanctuary of a Delaware church was started by an act of arson, authorities said. State Fire Marshal Chief Deputy Robert Fox said multiple fires were started inside Reach Church, in Glasgow, news outlets reported.

Do you pretend to know someone else’s heart?

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

There are two words I’ve heard Christians and non-Christians alike use to start sentences during an argument. The two-word preface may carry more implications than some would like to admit.  The words are: “You want…”

In the heat of argument one may say, “You want to cause trouble…” or “You want to seem smart…” sort of poisoning the well, if you wish, as they portray their opponent as someone with a malicious motive rather than someone with whom they disagree.

Consider, 1 Samuel tells us, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for the man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Corinthians in the New Testament tells us, “…who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit.” There are other scriptures that seem to say God alone is capable of knowing someone’s true motivation.

It may be comforting to believe that the only way someone could disagree with us about important matters is if they have some nefarious incentive. But given that we can only guess what goes on within someone else’s heart, should we really speak as if we have the ability to do so? Too, shouldn’t we ask God to make sure we understand our own motives before casting judgement on others?

What are your thoughts?

Can people tell you are a Christian by what you post on Facebook?

I once told a woman that what she posted online was not very Christian at all. She responded by telling me, “We aren’t in church and I’m not bound to any biblical rules or principles. This is FB and we make the rules.”

There is at least a grain of truth in that statement: We can choose to go against God’s principles. God does not force us to live as we should. Is it not hypocritical to claim you are following Jesus while purposely doing our own thing?  Doesn’t this misrepresent to the world what being a Christian means?

What are your thoughts?

There is a difference between judging what a person does and judging the individual

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

The Book of Mathew says, “Judge not, or you too will be judged.” Does this mean that Christians should never judge the actions of others?  I believe this scripture and the answer to the question show just how easy it is to get a wrong understanding of the Bible if you only hear a snippet. The same Chapter of Matthew says that Jesus told His followers how to know a false prophet. He said, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” He is clearly telling Christians to make a judgement about a person’s actions.

Notice, he says to judge the actions, not the individual. The Bible warns us against actions that go against God’s will.  The Bible warns us against adultery, murder, etc. I believe this makes it clear we are to judge actions. But when it comes to judging the individual; that is, assuming we know why he or she did the action, that’s a different story. We have no idea what lies in a person’s heart , but God does. He alone judges the heart. Doesn’t this mean that only God judges the individual?

How would other folks judge you if they only saw you at your worst?

What are your thoughts?

New music from Karen Peck and New River, Michael Booth and more!

JEFF TURNER, MUSIC REPORTER/TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

Texas Gospel Canada added new music to our rotation Wednesday evening including songs from Karen Peck and New River, Michael Booth and Donna Ulisse. As the world goes through extraordinary times, the songs released this week seem to reflect a message needed by Christians and non-Christians alike: Hope..

Karen Peck and New River

Fresh off the success of The God I Serve, Karen Peck and New River’s song Made Right comes from the same album, Lift His Name.  The words are perhaps the perfect message for today, “Not by power, not by might, by might. By the Spirit of the Lord it’s going to be made right.”

Michael Booth

Michael Booth’s This side of Heaven is a slow ballad with a progressive Southern Gospel sound. It comes from the project Dear Yesterday. The theme of the CD seems to be encouragement. Other songs from the same project include Dear Yesterday, Thy Will be Done and We Trust in the Name.  The lyrics of This Side speak of worshiping God in the good and the bad, even when we have to say goodbye to someone we very much love.

Donna Ulisse

Donna Ulisse may be a new name to some Southern Gospel listeners.  She has a distinctively Bluegrass sound. Her song Come to Jesus Moment was co-written by Donna and Rick Stanley.  The song comes from the project Time for Life, and is produced by another well-known name in Bluegrass Gospel, Doyle Lawson of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Donna is known to Country Music fans from her days with Atlantic Records in the early 1990’s.

Jordan Family Band

The Jordan Family Band has a single release this week, Hope for the World. The song speaks of healing, and of doing our part to reach the world with the Gospel. The Jordan Family Band is based in Calhoun, Georgia.

Nathan Woodard

Live Forgiven from Nathan Woodard has a definite folk-country influence. Though the song was previously recorded by Gordon Mote, Nathan co-wrote the song with Sue C. Smith and he puts a distinctive sound in his version. The words say, Even when we’re certain God’s grace is all we got… we are all His children.”

Listen for these songs added this week to the music lineup of Texas Gospel Canada!