Reported crimes against the church in North America this week 1/30/2022


The number of reported crimes against churches and congregations remains low for a second week in a row.  No confirmed hate crimes have been reported to Texas Gospel Canada since the first of the year.

CTV reports RCMP investigators in Olds, Alberta are looking for the person caught on security footage damaging windows at the First Baptist church.  MountainViewToday reports the damage was reported January 23.

Authorities in Lawrence County, Alabama began the week looking for whomever caused thousands of dollars in damage to the New Antioch Church of Christ building, according to The Birmingham News. The paper published photos of the damage. WAAY television reports the motive does not appear to be theft as no valuable items were taken. Shortly after those stories ran police arrested two juveniles. APnews reports the teens were identified from surveillance video. WHNT television reports the damage is estimated at $30,000.

A Virginia church grotto was vandalized and statues “irreparably damaged” Tuesday night according to a report from WTOP news. A post by the pastor on the church web site says, “I am so saddened by this act of disrespect and destruction of property…. Let us be people of peace who value and respect one another.”

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

Woman arrested for breaking windows, vandalizing graves at US church

David Ingram, Music Director/Reporter

Sheriff’s deputies in the US say they have arrested a woman who broke windows, destroyed church property, and vandalized graves at a church.

Moore County, North Carolina Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a press release that the damage was done on Dec. 29, 2020 at Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Carthage, North Carolina. When deputies arrived at the church they found damage to multiple grave markers, windows, and other miscellaneous items on the church property. Sheriff Fields said deputies quickly found a person of interest in the area who was subsequently charged in connection with the crimes. 

A sheriff’s office spokesperson has identified the person arrested as Jasmine Shereece Frye, 34, of Carthage, NC. She faces 10 counts of Felony Disturbing Grave Markers, 1 count of misdemeanor injury to real property, and one count of littering.

Jail records show Frye is held on $25,000 US bond.

Shereece is scheduled to appear before a judge on March 3, 2021.

Church building destroyed by fire after 128 years of worship

A church building used for 128 years by worshipers in Port Colborne, Ontario is a total loss following a devastating fire Tuesday. The building of Grace United Brethren Church was built in 1897.  The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. and the structure lay in ashes by sunrise the same morning.

Brian Magnus, Bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada, said in a Facebook Post, “The front half (sanctuary, lobby and basement) are down to the basement foundation walls. The back half is also burned, and smoke-and-water filled, and will need to be torn down to the concrete slab.”

The loss is believed to be more than $1.5 million. A website has been set up for those wishing to help the congregation rebuild.

The Ontario Fire Marshal is investigating.

US congregation targeted with repeat acts of criminal vandalism

Police in Pennsylvania are reaching out to the public for help finding whomever is responsible for repeated burglaries and vandalism at a house of worship.

“We are once again reaching out to anyone that may have information on the person/persons responsible for the ongoing Break In’s, Criminal Mischief and Vandalism at St. Joe’s Church. This senseless desecration of Church Property so close to the Christmas Holiday is devastating to the Priest and Parishioners. Please help us and the Diocese by contacting the Derry Borough Police Dept with ANY information you can provide that will assist us in stopping this,” says a post on the Derry Borough Police Department Facebook page.

There have been two attacks against the church this week in which statues were overturned, chairs in the sanctuary were damaged and a fire extinguisher was sprayed throughout the second floor.  A church representative told Texas Gospel Canada there have been at least five break-ins since Halloween.