Vandalised church suffers $100k in damages in Maryland
The Fowler United Methodist Church, a predominantly African American congregation in Annapolis, suffered a vandalism attack earlier this month. The County Police are investigating the raid as a potential hate crime.
Anne Arundel County authorities were informed of the desecration on June 9. The vandals tore down and threw a large cross into the pews; ripped Bibles apart; cut cords of sound equipment and destroyed five television sets, leaving the church with serious damages.
Senior Pastor Jerome Jones said in an interview: “I have never seen a church desecrated to where you just feel the hate. And it was so disturbing to my soul. And it was a weight, I would say, that I have never anticipated I would have to carry. The pain of what the cross stands for, and to see someone desecrate it to that capacity”.
The Annapolis-based Eastport United Methodist Church offered its support to recover the Methodist Church. The representative from Eastport said, “Over the past week, their pastor and I have been in touch, discussing ways their congregation can be supported. So far, we have been able to support them with some sound equipment while other churches have supported them with hymnals and bibles. They still require additional financial support to cover remaining audio/visual needs.”
Apparently, some people are comfortable with lashing out against church buildings, which points to a large societal problem of marginalizing core Christian beliefs.
According to research conducted by Family Research Council (FRC), criminal acts against churches have been rising for the past several years.
“The first three months of 2023 saw approximately three times the number of acts of hostility perpetrated against churches in the same timeframe last year.”
The report concludes that the anger and division that increasingly characterize American society are endangering churches and eroding religious freedom. Violent or destructive incidents that interfere with an individual’s lawful free exercise of religion at their house of worship present a significant nationwide challenge.