News from Europe

A 17th century church was set on fire and vandalised in Germany

The Church of the Cross in Wissen was destroyed and desecrated on the 10th of January. The police have launched an investigation into this attack that has caused damages worth millions of euros. According to the reports, the back door of the church was smashed with stones and broken open, the religious symbols were vandalized and the high altar was set on fire.


The Betzdorf police investigated the tragedy and finally were able to identify a 39-year-old perpetrator, who has been arrested.

Pastor Martin Kürten has mentioned that the Church will be closed temporarily, but there will be masses in other Parish halls. It was also reported that the damages are worth millions of euros.

Local parishioners from Westerwald Town showed solidarity with the church by bringing candles and doing devotion together at the church square.

Berno Neuhoff, mayor of the community, wrote: “People are stunned, sad and shocked, but knowledge stands together. An impressive spontaneous sign of solidarity, prayer and gesture of forgiveness in front of our church for the perpetrator(s)”.

Pastor Martin Kürten has also explained that due to the severity of the damage, it probably will not be possible to celebrate Mass in the church in 2023. He expressed his sadness by saying: “One must not put the material value in the foreground here. The ideal value can simply be described as irreplaceable.”

The newspaper Rhein Zeitung reported that “the 17th-century high altar was overturned by the perpetrator or perpetrators and a more than 200-year-old carpet, on which the arson was presumably committed, was destroyed”. 


Leave a reply