Burning church buildings, anarchist and satanic symbols, and decapitated statues of Christ.
It sounds like a scene from the middle east, but these acts of persecution are taking place just south of the border.
In the U.S. this month, several Catholic churches have been vandalized by unknown individuals. CBN News reports there seems to be no motivation behind these attacks.
One pastor found a pentagram, described as “satanic” and an “anarchist symbol” painted in pink paint on the doors of St. Joseph’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
The vandalism was posted to the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Facebook page.
“The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ,” the Archdiocese wrote last month.
“However, our cherished Catholic faith has survived for 2,000 years in the faces of many different oppressors, and it is not about to yield now. Therefore, we remain unafraid and resolute in our faith, and we will pray for a conversion of the hearts of those who wish to terrorize us.”
Between the hours of 9 PM last night and 6 AM this morning, a person or group of persons had painted anarchist and…
Posted by Archdiocese of Hartford on Thursday, July 16, 2020
The Archdiocese encourages believers to allow the attacks to strengthen their faith and to answer with love instead of hate.
They also indicate the attack may be part of a larger pattern.
“This follows an apparent trend of desecrating Catholic spaces throughout the nation, as evidenced by incidents in Chattanooga, Queens, Boston, Sacramento, and Ocala,” says the Archdiocese.
In mid-July, a statue of Jesus was found decapitated at a South Florida church.
The statue was found taken off its pedestal by Edivaldo da Saliva, a deacon with Good Shepherd Catholic Church in West Kendall.
“We have seen this happening all over the country,” da Saliva says.
The Archdiocese of Miami wants to see the incident treated as a hate crime. It is being investigated by both the Miami-Dade police and the Department of Home Security.
Another statue, this one of Virgin Mary, was vandalized. Red paint appeared on the statue in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A rector at the cathedral, David Price, says the damage resembles a graffiti tag and that the vandal wrote the word “redrum” at the base of the statue.
“Redrum” is murder spelled backward. It is usually seen in reference to the 1977 Stephen King novel, The Shining.
Finally, a mission in California was recently destroyed by fires.
The building was nearly 250-years-old and contained historic artifacts dating back to the 1700s.
Archibishop of Los Angeles Jose Goemez shared photos of the damage on July 11.
“St. Junípero Serra, pray for this land that you helped to found,” he says in the post.
— Abp. José H. Gomez (@ArchbishopGomez) July 11, 2020
The fire happened during the early morning hours and is being investigated as an arson.
Witnesses say the flames were so large they were visible outside the building. More than 100 firefighters were called in before the blaze was finally brought under control.
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