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17 Jul, 2020 04:56

Connecticut Catholic church defaced with SATANIC & ANARCHIST symbols, as spate of vandalism attacks targets Christian sites

Connecticut Catholic church defaced with SATANIC & ANARCHIST symbols, as spate of vandalism attacks targets Christian sites

A Catholic church in Connecticut was vandalized sometime between Wednesday night and early Thursday, possibly becoming the latest casualty in a US culture war that has increasingly targeted Christian figures in recent days.

Masses and other activities were canceled at least through Thursday at St. Joseph’s Church in New Haven as parish leaders assessed the damage, including what appear to be satanic and anarchist symbols painted on the building’s doors, the Rev. John Paul Walker said in a Facebook post. Once services resume, the church doors will only be unlocked for masses and confession.

The New Haven incident marks the latest in a series of attacks on Catholic churches across the US, including the decapitation of a Jesus statue on Wednesday in a Miami suburb.

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Church leaders see the attacks as part of a campaign of terror that has come amid anti-racism protests across the nation. Vandals previously targeted statues of historic figures ranging from Confederate General Robert E. Lee to abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

“The underlying motive of these sacrilegious attacks is clear: to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of those who worship Christ,” the Archdiocese of Hartford said Thursday. “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.”

Some of the church figures targeted for destruction or removal had plausible points of criticism for the anti-racism protesters, such as St. Junipero Serra, a Franciscan priest who was accused of enslaving Native Americans as he spread the Catholic faith in California. His statue on the grounds of the California Capitol in San Francisco was toppled by a group of activists on July 4.

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But some in the Black Lives Matter movement have come against Christian symbols more broadly. Racial activist Shaun King said on June 22 that all murals, statues and other depictions of Jesus as a white European should “come down.”

“They are a form of white supremacy,” King said. “Always have been. In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide and blend in, guess where they went – Egypt, not Denmark. Tear them down.”

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