News from Europe

Religious statues vandalized in Langton, England

Vandals used spray paint to damage the statues outside the Sacred Heart Church.

According to the police, the vandalism happened on Tuesday the 16th of May, sometime between 11 a.m. and noon at a church southeast of Tillsonburg.

Investigators provided photos of the damage, which show at least two statues with black paint covering the figure’s face and hands. A sign at the back of the church was also ruined with yellow paint.

“The OPP want to remind all residents that if they see anything suspicious to please contact the police. If anyone is found committing acts of mischief, appropriate charges will be laid” police said in a statement.

Based on a report by the Countryside Alliance – an organisation promoting and protecting rural life – there were over 4000 crimes committed at churches and religious premises in 2021. They gathered data from 40 of the UK’s  45 territorial police forces. Based on these transcripts, there were 4,169 incidents of theft, vandalism, assault or burglary across the UK in 2021.

2022 figures have note been released yet.

Countryside Alliance emphasizes the importance of rural churches and focuses on raising funding for security at places of worship.

According to Mo Metcalf-Fisher, Countryside Alliance spokesman, many churches and places of worship, especially rural ones, are being treated as easy targets by criminals. “Any attack on a religious building is shocking, and requires a robust response…It’s really sad, because the church obviously wants to keep its doors open. It wants to be that sanctuary for people to go to, and criminals are making that incredibly difficult to carry on with. These are supposed to be places where people go to seek solace, but all too often they subjected to heinous crimes, either in or on their property.”



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