Churches Become Targets for Vandals and Arsonists

New “acts of hatred” in New York City, Boston and California.

At the height of the demonstrations and riots last month, churches across the nation were burned and vandalized. Many people witnessed the televised assault on St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., the famous 204-year-old structure where presidents since James Madison have prayed. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City was defaced with obscenities, and Beth Ahabah, a 225-year-old Reformed Jewish structure had windows smashed. From coast to coast and border to border, churches and synagogues were vandalized and set ablaze.

This past weekend, religious edifices across the country again faced the crossfire in a war over the public use of religious symbols.

In two cases, authorities found two statues of the Virgin Mary mutilated, one with the word “IDOL” painted lengthwise down the statue. The rector there called the incident “an act of hatred.” In Boston, a World War II memorial  that featured Mary was burned. Protesters in St. Louis were cleared from a statue of King Louis IX, the city’s namesake on Sunday, while worshippers nearby were praying for peace for the city.

On Sunday, a church founded by Friar Junipero Serra in 1777 was severely damaged by a fire. And in Ocala, Florida, a man set fire to a church where people were preparing for mass. He intentionally crashed a minivan into the front doors of the church, got out of his vehicle, and poured gas all over the ground before igniting the fire, according to police. He was apprehended a short time later.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • That America’s First Amendment rights on freedom of religious worship would be protected.
  • For the men and women who engage in these acts of vandalism or arson to be brought to justice and, ultimately, to see the error of their ways.
  • That the Lord would preserve the American people as less optimistic economic projections are made.
  • For congregations to remain safe and free from fear as they gather in churches and synagogues.

Sources: JNS,  Washington Examiner


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