Another religious statue has been vandalized as attacks on churches and ministries have increased along with protests in recent months. This time, a statue of Jesus was found decapitated at a Catholic Church in South Florida.
Edivaldo da Saliva, a deacon at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in West Kendall, Fla., told WPLG-TV he found the statue apparently ripped from its pedestal. “This morning, I found it on the ground,” he said, “and we presume that it is vandalism.”
Da Saliva pointed out that Catholic congregations around the United States have been facing vandalism and arson in recent days. “We have seen this happening all over the country,” the deacon said. The WPLG-TV reporter noted the bolts and rods that held the religious statue in place had been ripped from its platform, suggesting a lot of force was needed to heave the sculpture from its position.
The incident is one of an increasing number of protester-related attacks on churches across the nation. ‘This is an attack on the church,’ Mary Ross Agosta, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami, told the Miami Herald. ‘This is not only private property, it is sacred property.’
‘This is not something you can trip over and say, “Oh, sorry,”‘ she said. ‘Someone did this intentionally.’
Argemis Colome, a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Department, said investigators will be looking into security footage of the alleged incident. “Our general investigations unit, as well as our Homeland Security Bureau, are both looking into it,” the detective said. The Archdiocese of Miami told WPLG-TV it would like the vandalism to be investigated as a hate crime, calling it another attack on the Catholic Church.
‘People find peace at these types of places, especially during these times,’ Argemis said. ‘We want to ensure the community that MDPD will look into the matter so people can continue to feel safe.’
The Archdiocese of Miami told a Miami TV station that its members expect authorities to ‘Investigate this desecration as a hate crime.’
‘This incident has saddened the parish community,’ the Good Shepherd church added in a statement, according to Fox News. ‘It is too soon to arrive to any conclusion, but we have seen other churches vandalized around the country. We totally “condemn” this action. We invite our community to pray for peace.’
Shaun King, a Black Lives Matters activist and Democrat spokesman had tweeted earlier this summer to “tear down” churches.
Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.
They are a form of white supremacy.
Always have been.
In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went?
Tear them down.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) June 22, 2020
This incident in south Florida comes after a weekend of destruction at Catholic places of worship, beginning at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, where a 24-year-old assailant drove his vehicle into the church during a morning Mass, poured gasoline in the foyer and set the building on fire before driving off. He has since been arrested and charged with attempted murder, arson, burglary and evading arrest. A statue of the Virgin Mary at a Catholic Church in Boston was set ablaze the same day as well as a Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee finding that a statue of the Virgin Mary had been decapitated.
In the most horrific event, a 249-year-old church on the National Register of Historic Places was totally destroyed by an arsonist in Los Angeles.
Sean Feucht, an evangelical worship leader and former California congressional candidate, asked, “Where’s the outrage?”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice