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The images of the church tower collapsing in a sea of flames shocked not only the local people and the Catholic faithful, but the whole country.
“The irrationality and hatred that we are witnessing is an attack on a fundamental human right to religious liberty. Such violence should have no place in a society that claims to be democratic.”
“Nothing justifies the use of violence, nor the attacks on sacred spaces, nor will the use of violence against the faith and beliefs of others contribute to the defense of social, racial, or economic justice.”
Hooded vandals had dragged out the pews, statues and sacred images into the street, smashing them and setting them on fire. They also sprayed graffiti and abusive slogans on the inside walls of the church as well as on its doors.