Vandals invade Catholic Churches, destroy statues

The vandals left a message in each occasion.


In the last one month, vandals have invaded three Catholic Churches in Enugu State, with just one motive; the destruction of the statues in the churches.

In the three incidents, the vandals left a message, asking the church to “stop worshiping idols.”

In its reaction to these acts, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, on Tuesday, condemned the destructions.

The Director of Communication in the diocese, Joseph Offor, in Enugu on Tuesday, listed the three churches that had been attacked in the past one month as: Seat of Wisdom Parish, Abakpa Nike; St. Leo Catholic Church, Federal Housing Estate; and St. Mary Catholic Church, Trans-Ekulu.

Mr. Offor, a Reverend Father, described the attacks as ‘unfortunate,’ wondering the motive of the people carrying out the nefarious act.

“Sometime ago, in October, the Vicar General of the diocese, Monsignor Luke Adike complained that unknown people invaded the church, Seat of Wisdom Parish, Abakpa Nike, around 1 a.m.

“In the morning, he went into the church, and he saw that all the statues, both that of the Sacred Heart, that of the Virgin Mary and every other thing in the altar has been smashed, destroyed by these hoodlums,” he said.

The spokesman said the vandals also left a message asking the church to stop worshipping idols.

He quoted the message left by the vandals as “The 10 commandments of the Lord, the Almighty Lord says, stop worshipping idols, false gods made by man. I tolerate no rivals.

“Worship only but the living God, the Almighty God,”

Mr. Offor said that on November 4 and November 11, similar incidents happened at St. Leo and St Mary, destroying the statues and the altar while also leaving a similar message.

The cleric said the matter had been reported to the police, adding that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Musa Daura, had visited the affected churches. He said the Bishop of the diocese, Callistus Onaga, had issued a circular urging the parishes and parishioners to be security conscious.

Mr. Offor said the diocese had also purchased scanning gadgets to improve the operations of its security men.

The director said the church was not suspecting anybody or group until arrests had been made.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Ebere Amaraizu, said the command had commenced investigation into the matter, but that no arrests had been made.

Mr. Amaraizu said the command had posted security agents to monitor churches in the state.

He appealed to the general public to assist the police with information on the activities of suspected persons in their areas.

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