Stolen cross returned to Digby church

A 100-year-old cross that was stolen has been returned according to a report published by StAlbertaToda.ca.

The Yarmouth Conty Vanguard reports the brass cross had been taken in a burglary around 10 a.m. Christmas Eve at the Trinity Anglican Church in Digby, N.S.  A press release issued by the RCMP says a woman brought the undamaged cross to the church and gave it to an employee.

PHOTO: Trinity Anglican Church, Digby, N.S.

Officials say nothing else was taken in the burglary.

No arrests have been announced.

The Digby RCMP is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact them at 902-245-2579. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), submit a secure web tip at http://www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

Church in Ottawa welcomes refugees

A congregation in Ottawa puts love in action as it welcomes 28 people who fled growing violence in Congo.

Here’s the story from the CBC 

The Church’s web site says its Refugee Mission Program started in 2011 in consultation with the church council and the government of Canada. The church applied to the government and became a SAH (sponsorship agreement holder) in July 2012. That year, it worked with other SAH groups and shared the 5 allocated spaces with those groups.

Read more from from Grace Communion In

Historic California church heavily damaged by fire, cause unknown

Fire heavily damaged a 140-year-old California church building in Forestville, California.

A spokesperson for Forestville No. 3 Fire District said the fire was prevented from spreading from the building owned by the Forestville Church of Christ.

The Press Democrat reports the church was built in 1879 with old-growth redwood and was a, “piece of local history as well as a religious gathering place.”

The cause of the fire remains unknown.  The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation.

Vandals target 231-year-old California church building with misspelled ‘genocide’ graffiti

Police in Santa Barbara California believe anti-Columbus day sentiment is motive behind vandalism at a church established in 1786.  Someone spray painted “genocide”, smashed a window, and damaged other pieces of church property of the Old Mission Santa Barbara. The Los Angeles Times reports they caused an estimated $25,000 in damage. KYET television published a photo of the damage.

File news reports from the area say the same church was vandalized last year.  Cameras were installed following that attack.  Video from those cameras of this year’s attack is being reviewed by detectives.

The 231-year-old building is home to a community of Franciscan Friars

 

U.S. strengthens hate crimes laws to protect churches and religious institutions

church damage

U.S. President Donald Trump this month signed a bill into law increasing punishments for criminals who target churches or religiously affiliated organizations. The bill was introduced in response to a growing number of vandalism, bomb threats and other attacks on religious freedom in the U.S.

Existing U.S. law protects abortion clinics and other facilities frequently target by vandals.  The new law expands similar protections for churches. According to a news release from the White House, The Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2018 criminalizes the intentional obstruction of any person’s free exercise of religious beliefs by threat of force against religious real property. It increases the penalty to three years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine for threats that lead to damage. Those offenses were misdemeanors with a maximum one year in jail before the bill was signed.