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.
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.
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. 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.
“This was not just criminal mischief. This was historic criminal mischief,” said prosecutor Vincent Giardino to the Fort Worth Business Press. “The police officers on the scene that morning, and even his own defense attorney, said they’d never seen anything like it. His goal was not just to damage this church, but to obliterate it. And he has no remorse for it.”
The trial begin Tuesday in before Judge Robb Catalano Tarrant County’s Criminal District 3. Jurors deliberated for less than 10 minutes Thursday before reaching a guilty verdict.