Random attacks on churches and church property

These are some of the latest attacks on the church and church property as reported by news agencies around the world.

8/4/2020 Fourth church added to list of places targeted by vandal or vandal in Texas City  San Angelo, Texas Police are still searching for a vandal, or vandals, who damaged the churches on July 20 between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight. – Concho Valley News

8/4/2020 Firefighters believe Molotov cocktail was thrown at US church The incendiary device extinguished on its own but not before charring the door and door jam. – 7 News Boston

8/3/2020 Weymouth Police investigating possible arson at local church The front doors to the church were found burned with broken glass on the ground and the pastor says there was smoke damage inside the building. – Boston 25

8/3/2020 SAPD Searching for Information on Recent Church Vandalism San Angelo, Texas Police Department issued a notice Monday asking for the public’s help in finding the suspects responsible for vandalism at churches around town. – San Angelo Live 

8/3/2020 Teens arrested for vandalism of US churches Police Chief Nathan Gohlke said 17-year-old Nickolas Harborth and a 15-year-old juvenile whose name was not released because of his age were arrested following an investigation into the painting of graffiti on the Mount Calvary Church of God in Christ and a rock was thrown through a window of the Sweet Home Baptist Church across the street. – Fox 44

8/3/2020 Community fundraise to protect Holy Trinity Church for vandals The petition, which so far has raised £1,350 to go towards repairs and extra security, reads: “Theale in the main is a very peaceful and respectable place to live, where every resident should be able to feel safe and not intimidated. – The Reading Chronicle 

8/3/2020 Nicaraguan bishops denounce Managua cathedral arson attack as ‘terrorism’  The Nicaraguan bishops’ conference has called an arson attack on the Managua cathedral “an act of terrorism,” but vowed not to be intimidated as a government campaign of intolerance targeting the Catholic Church turns increasingly cruel and involves acts of sacrilege. – CatholicPhilly

8/3/2020 Arson investigators probe incident at Weymouth church A worker at Sacred Heart Church in Weymouth confirmed that arson investigators were on scene around 12:30 p.m. on Monday – Boston Herald

8/1/2020 Satanic symbols and desecrated statues: Several U.S. Catholic churches vandalized, attacked during July In the U.S. this month, several Catholic churches have been vandalized by unknown individuals. –  CHVN 92.1 FM

8/1/2020 Fire at church in Georgia fire ruled arson The building was being used for outdoor church services and it was determined to be deliberately set on fire by unknown person(s). US Law Enforcement

8/1/2020 Nicaragua: Chapel gutted in arson attack on Cathedral Witnesses say a hooded man entered the Chapel of the Blood of Christ on Friday and threw a petrol bomb. The fire that ensued engulfed a 400-year-old crucifix housed in the chapel. – ICN 

7/30/2020 EDMONTON – Church destroyed in one of two ‘suspicious’ rural fires Two fires that happened the same night within five kilometres of each other in Two Hills County are being investigated by RCMP as suspicious. – CTV

7/30/2020 Man, 34, Arrested For Vandalizing Churches, Worship Halls in US Natalee A. Hamilton, 34, was charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, Middletown Police Chief R. Craig Weber said.  – Daily Voice

7/29/2020 Calgary police release video of vandalism at Sacred Heart Church Calgary police have released CCTV footage of two people spray painting a statue of Jesus Christ in front of Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday, July 13, 2020. ​ – Global News

7/29/2020 ‘I’ll be on Satan’s lap:’ Sheriff’s deputies searching for suspect(s) in church vandalism The Gatesville Police Department and the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public in locating the suspects who damaged a church in Gatesville. ABC 25

7/29/2020 Gold Hill church tired of vandalism uses sign to offer a choice to the culprit A country church in the US is having a lot of trouble with a doughnut maker. He doesn’t make the sweet treats, he leaves the skid marks all over the new parking lot, and he’s been doing it night after night. –WBTV

7/29/2020 Fire torches Catholic parish offices, chapel in North Carolina A fire tore through the parish offices of a historic Catholic church in Monroe, North Carolina early Monday morning, and though the damage is extensive, the church’s pastor is thankful that the blaze did not touch the main sanctuary or the Blessed Sacrament. – Catholic News Agency

7/28/2020 Photos released in US church arson investigation The century-old Harmony Baptist Church was fully involved when crews arrived on scene and the fire was extinguished about 1:30 a.m. July 6. DSJ Now

7/28/2020 Devastating Holy Trinity church fire was deliberately set Devastating Holy Trinity church fire was deliberately set Investigators have determined that the fire that destroyed Holy Trinity church in Two Hills County was deliberately set, and may be linked to another in the area on the same night. – Grandin Media

7/28/2020 Florida Church Rebuilding After Arson Attack The Catholic community at Queen of Peace Parish in Ocala, Florida is rebuilding after the church was set on fire earlier this month. – National Catholic Register

7/28/2020 A suspect has been arrested after multiple houses of worship were vandalized in New Jersey. A woman was arrested in the US for vandalism of church property and an attack on a police officer who arrested her. – WABC | NBC4 New York

7/27/2020 Thieves defecated in the foyer of a 115-year-old Bronx church  ‘Can’t they see this is the house of God?’ Devastated Pastor hits out at thieves who defecated in the foyer of a 115-year-old Bronx church before stealing $8,000 in electronic equipment – The American Reporter

7/27/2020 Several juveniles accused of vandalizing US church; arrest warrants issued for others Officials say units responded to the Church of God in the 2500 block of Maryus Road regarding a trespassing in progress. Once inside, deputies discovered that several individuals had gone inside of the closed down church, damaged property within and took a painting belonging to the church. – WAVY

7/27/2020 New Jersey man charged in church vandalism Stephen Grosso of Fair Haven was charged via mail summons with criminal mischief, according to police. Grosso, 30, was skateboarding behind St. James Church on Broad Street on June 13 when the individual pushed over a religious depiction of the Holy Family. Video surveillance posted by Red Bank Green shows the Fair Haven resident knocking over the statue and skating away around 4 p.m. that afternoon – Patch

7/27/2020 California parish restores vandalized Our Lady of Guadalupe statue On July 21, security cameras at St. Joseph Parish in Upland, California, captured a video of a young man approach a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe and kick the statue repeatedly until it fell from its base. – Catholic News Agency

7/25/2020 Man arrested in connection with Delaware church fire: A Glasgow, Delaware man has been accused of setting multiple fires inside a church sanctuary. – WTOP Television.

7/25/2020 Preacher willing to sit down, talk with person who vandalized Oklahoma City churchThe preacher of Crown Heights Baptist Church told KOCO 5 he’s willing to sit down with the person responsible to discuss what sparked the act of vandalism. Dr. Joe Cannon also said he’s willing to share his thoughts and hear theirs. KOCO 5 Television

7/25/2020 Anti-Christian attacks rise in Europe Since 2010, the Paris-based L’Observatoire de la Christianophobie (Observatory of Christianophobia) has chronicled anti-Christian incidents in France and around the world. – Herald Malaysia Online 

7/24/2020 Delaware community gathers in prayer for man accused of burning church Pastor Chuck Betters led a group in prayer saying, “Lord I pray for the individual who did this.” WPVI Television

7/24/2020 Man started church fire ‘out of vengeance and anger,’ investigators say Court documents obtained by Delaware Online/The News Journal also state that Thomas Loftis III threw video equipment and musical instruments after making his way into Reach Church Monday night.

7/24/2020 Churches vandalized across the US The reports come amid a national debate over what to do about offensive and controversial statues. – Tennessee Tribune

7/24/2020 Bronx Church Vandalized, Pastor Says At Least $10,000 In Damage VIDEO – The search is on for a group of vandals who ripped apart a century-old church in the Bronx. CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reports.CBS New York

7/23/2020 Fire Marshal Says Delaware Church Fire Causing $250K in Damages Was Arson  A fire inside the sanctuary of a Delaware church was started by an act of arson, authorities said. State Fire Marshal Chief Deputy Robert Fox said multiple fires were started inside Reach Church, in Glasgow, news outlets reported.

Why are some people so opposed to faith?

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

Some atheist writers expound on the idea that Christianity is in retreat as they strive to get others to abandon their faith. One writer proclaimed with glee that, “religion isn’t just losing members – it’s also losing social status and public prestige.” He made it clear this was not just a non-consequential observation, it was something he touted as reason to rejoice. Let’s examine his position. Is it true that Christianity is in retreat? Why would someone who claims to be void of belief so strongly desire that others turn from Jesus?

Let’s talk about that first question: Is Christianity in retreat? If by retreat one means to imply that God is becoming less important, then no. God’s importance has not changed. But if by retreat one means there are fewer people who understand the importance of God, then yes; that’s something the Bible tells us to expect. 1 Timothy tells us, “…that in the last days many people will turn from their faith.” 2 Timothy tells us many of the people who turn from God will have, “…a form of godliness but denying its power.” So yes, for thousands of years we’ve been expecting a time when people will turn from God. A yes or no answer does not address the assumed premises that are possible when one asks: Is Christianity in retreat.”

The second question is addressed in scripture.  Why would a person who claims to have no belief either way so strongly advocate for others to turn from God? Consider John tells us,” Everyone who does evil hates the light…” Because of this, if rejection of a Holy God is evil, then those who reject God hate the light. They may not acknowledge or even be aware of their hatred, but some are so motivated to oppose Christianity that they create websites, produce podcasts and write books trying to encourage others to follow them in their rejection of God.

God is there.  You can choose to seek and find Him, or allow yourself to become blinded by the god of this world to the wonderful gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus.

Which do you choose?

Do you lean on your own understanding or ask God to reveal His word?

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

I’ve been told there are things in the Bible that are contradictory; therefore, they say the Bible is in error. Oddly enough, most of the folks who have said this to me also maintain that the Bible means whatever a reader wants it to mean, and this is where the real problem lies. If one believes Bible verses have no intrinsic meaning, of course readers can see “contradictions” if that’s what they want to see.  To be clear, this does not mean the Bible contradicts itself. It does demonstrate that if one falsely believes the Bible’s meaning changes depending on desire, then people who desire to find contradictions will do so. But does the Bible’s meaning change?

The Book of John tells us when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. Mark tells us, to you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive…” I believe these scriptures, and others like them, tell us that knowing God’s word is a gift.  I believe it’s the same as grace and faith. Ephesians says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

By the way, the Bible isn’t unique when it comes to people quarreling over meaning.  Legal contracts, charters, constitutions, ALL have been misinterpreted to match people’s wants and desires. Isn’t this alone a good reason to ask God to open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in His law?

What are your thoughts?

What happens after death and before the second coming

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

What happens to our loved ones after death? Are they “sleeping” until the second coming? For starters I think sleep is an obvious metaphor. The body is no longer functioning. But I would also suggest these questions have an assumption woven into them. They assume we are limited to time and space after we die.

Here are a few things to consider. Scientists say we perceive time, but we only have a vague understanding of it.  They say time and space are relative. It’s hard to imagine two different places where time is not the same, but it’s fact.  It’s also something for which if we couldn’t compensate our GPS system wouldn’t work.

2 Timothy 1:9 says, “… This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,” There are other scriptures that talk about a beginning to time. Given this alone we see that time is not eternal, it was created by God along with the universe. Luke tells us the rich man, after his death, asked God to send Lazarus to warn his family. That was AFTER his death, yet the second coming has not yet happened.  I think this is at least circumstantial evidence that we will not be limited to time after we die.

The science behind of all this is too much for me to understand, and I admit some of this is only an extrapolation from scripture, not scripture itself. So why is any of this important? Because it shows the limitations of our understanding, and how God and His creation are not limited to our understanding. Though we only have an idea of what heaven will be like, and only a glimpse of life after death, the bigger question here is, are you ready?

Do Christians lose their individuality?

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

It’s not uncommon for those opposed to our faith to present stories of individual Christians doing bad things as evidence that there is something malicious about a belief in God. It’s interesting that while they cite wars and other wrongdoings that history tells us were carried out by individuals who claim to be Christians, it’s also not uncommon for anti-theists to reject the idea that atheism must be equally bad given that some atheist leaders have started wars and done malicious things. They excuse such actions by saying atheists are individuals who make their own decisions. Well, is religion is to blame whenever a Christian does evil? Is it true that only atheists are capable of individual decisions?

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Christians lose their ability to disobey God and do wrong. In fact, there are plenty of scriptures about repenting when we do something that goes against God’s will. It’s also true that church office in ancient times was a requirement for political office creating a temptation for evil people to falsely claim to have faith. The political power also presents a temptation for those with true faith to take their eyes off God.

Given that atheist and believers have done evil, and that there is no evidence that anything, but an individual’s bad choice is to blame when he or she does bad things, why do so many resort to this argument to “prove” some malice among believers?

What are your thoughts?