Investigators with the Powell County, Kentucky sheriff’s office are investigating thousands of dollars in damage caused by criminals who ransacked a church building.
A sheriff’s office spokesperson said someone overturned pews, smashed holes in the walls and caused extensive damage to the South Fork Church of God building. The spokesperson described walking into the damaged sanctuary as, “devastating.”
The vandal or vandals’ motive is not known.
Texas Gospel Canada publishes reported acts of aggression against congregations in North America. An on-air weekly report is broadcast every Monday on our Southern Gospel stream.
A California man police say has a history of yelling obscenities at church members has been arrested after U.S. police say he smeared feces and threw eggs at a church building.
Tulare County sheriff’s deputies arrested Danny Lee Terpin, 48, after they say his actions were caught on video at the Iglesia Christiana Fuente de Vida on Friday. The Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page that the video surveillance and a history of incidents led deputies to a nearby home where they made the arrest.
A sheriff’s office spokesperson on Sunday said Terpin faces felony hate crime vandalism charges.
The FBI is trying to find out if four cases of church vandalism in El Paso, Texas are related. The latest incident happened Dec. 5. A criminal smashed windows at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Fire officials told the El Paso Times a small fire at the church that night appears to be intentionally set.
The church pastor posted on social media that no one was hurt. He said federal agents are investigating the attack against the church as a hate crime.
Fernando Ceniseros, a spokesman for the Diocese of El Paso, encouraged anyone with information on the crime to reach out to the police, FBI, or Crime Stoppers.
The vandalism at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church includes the burning of a Bible, Satanic symbols left on church property and around $75,000 of non-specified destruction, according to a followup story from KVIA.
The FBI in September announced a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in previous attacks against church buildings in El Paso. Other rewards offered to help find the person or persons responsible bring the reward total to $15,000 for the arrest of those who are responsible.
A congregation in Deerfield, Ohio was targed this week by vandals who painted swastikas, racial slurs, and Satanic symbols on the church building.
Pastor Rodney Hedge of Kings Mills Baptist Church told Fox 19 in Ohio he got an early morning phone call about what was called an “all hands on deck” situation. He told the TV station it was the first time his congregation had to deal with this type of vandalism.
A church representative made a Facebook post showing damage left by the criminals.
The motive of the vandals has not yet been determined.
Criminal acts against the church in North America continue at a steady pace. Reported incidents are mostly petty crimes and acts of vandalism.
Halifax-area RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the people responsible for vandalism at a church in Sackville. Valliant News reports derogatory comments were painted on the building and property was damaged by the vandal or vandals. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to the Halifax District RCMP at . If you wish to remain anonymous call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477.)
RCMP are investigating a suspicious fire at a church nursery in Carman, Man. CBC reports the fire was confined to one room. RCMP ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Two men are charged with multiple charges including defacing religious property and defacing an institution because of religious animosity after bias-related graffiti was found at a Maryland Methodist Church, according to a report from Patch.com.
Two women in Lima, Ohio have agreed to reimburse the congregation of New Life Assembly and enter a diversity program after they pleaded guilty to vandalizing a church. Hometownstations.com reports prosecutors dropped a higher charge of desecration as part of a negotiated plea deal.
A Former New York University professor is charged with a hate crime after police say security cameras caught him vandalizing a Brooklyn Church. NBCNewYork.com reports Michael Gould Wartofsky previously taught sociology at NYU.
Investigators in Greene County, Tennessee are asking anyone with information about a fire that was intentionally set at the Gethsemane Methodist Church to call the local sheriff’s office. The fire was set sometime between Nov 4 and Nov 5 according to a report from WJHL television.
A Toronto church has helped at least 33 families from 13 countries find a new home. The CBC reports the families are helped by the Etobicoke-based Islington United Church under Canada’s Private Sponsorship Program.
Please pray for the affected congregations and for those who committed these crimes.