Reported acts of aggression against Christian congregations this week

STAFF

This is a list of this week’s reported crimes against Christian congregations and church property in North America. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list.  These are only those that have come to our attention through media reports.

MONDAY, DEC. 6, 2021

Red Deer, Alberta RCMP are asking for help identifying two people who vandalized a Church of the Nazarene building. Canada Police Report published photos of the suspects. The men are accused of writing offensive graffiti on church property.

Police in Portland, Oregon are looking for a woman they believe vandalized the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Colorado.  An Associated Press article published in the New Canaan Advertiser says swastikas and other hateful messages were painted on the church building. A photos of the damage were published by the Denver Post and The Post Millennial.

Police in Pennsylvania are investigating vandalism that included Satanic imagery left at Lititz Church or the Brethren. Lancaster Online reports the graffiti was discovered on Saturday.

TUESDAY, DEC 7, 2021

Police in Florida have arrested a man accused of vandalizing the building of Olive Baptist Church.  WEAR TV reports tips to police lead officers to Sean Michaels, 31. He’s charged with felony criminal mischief and two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. 

A statue at Our Lady of Fatima church in Washington, D.C. was vandalized last weekend. ABC 7 reports a cross was cut loose, and the nose of the statue was broken off.  Police have not determined a motive for the crime. The News Observer posted a surveillance photo of the vandal.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 2021

Thieves have stolen part of a fence installed around a church to protect from those who made arson threats.  Two Row Times reports someone cut off part of the expensive barrier around the Mohawk Chapel in Ontario.

Vandals in the State of New York used large rocks to smash glass doors at Grace Lutheran Church in Forest Hills. The Forest Hills Post reports police are investigating the crime as simple vandalism and not a hate crime.

THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2021

New Brunswick investigators have not determined the cause of a fire that destroyed a more than 100-year-old church.  A photo of the destroyed Saint Timothée Catholic church was published by CBC.

FRIDAY, DEC 10, 2021

A Cap-Pelé man, 26, if facing an arson charge following a NB church fire.  According to a RCMP news release, the suspect was arrested following a fire at the Saint-Timothée church. A motive is not yet known. The arrested individual is set to appear in court on Jan. 10, 2021.

A woman wanted in connection with vandalism at a Colorado church was arrested in Portland.  Fox 12 in Oregon reports Portland police arrested Madeline Cramer Thursday for vandalism at the Cathedral Basilica in Denver.

Hate crimes charges filed after man screams obscenities and exposes himself at church in Edmonton

David Ingram, Music Director & Reporter

The Archdiocese of Edmonton Thursday issued a statement announcing that charges have been filed against an individual who disrupted Mass on December 13 at Santa Maria Goretti Church. Edmonton police have charged the individual, who is not named, with mischief to religious property. The charge is a hate crime. The suspect is also charged with mischief.

The website of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton says police have banned the suspect from all archdiocesan property.

The Archdiocese is not releasing further comment while the case remains before the courts.