Vandals desecrated sacred pieces at the Grund Frelsis Lutheran Church, located in the town of Baldur, Manitoba, Tuesday morning.
The Grund Frelsis Lutheran Church is the oldest standing Icelandic Lutheran church in Canada. It is a heritage site.
Vandals broke the hands and cracked the arms of a statue of Jesus, left beer cans on the floor and further vandalized the church guest book, writing the words, “Drink Beer” and “Haunt Me” on one of its pages.
“It is especially shocking especially in a rural place where you think you can leave your front door unlocked,” Don Gudnason, a board member of Grund Frelsis Lutheran Church, says.
Grund Frelsis Lurtheran Church joins a list of other recent religious sites hit, by vandals.
In May, suspected vandals were thought to be behind the damage to yet another statue of Jesus, at St. Patrick’s Basilica in Ottawa where the arm of a statue of Jesus was also broken off.
In June, an anti-abortion sign outside, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Alberton, Prince Edward Island was vandalized with the words spray painted over the sign reading, “adoption is the loving option,” and “liar.” The RCMP has launched an investigation.
The damage to Grund Frelsis Lutheran Church’s sacred ornaments have left a lot of congregants shocked and saddened.
“Our younger congregants are disappointed. But a lot of our older congregants are especially shocked,” Gudnason says. “I think a lot of our older congregants weren’t raised in a situation where you have to worry about vandals and locking your doors.”
Grund Frelsis Lutheran Church was built in 1889. In the last 3 to 4 years, about $80,000 has been put into renovations.
Most money comes from donations, Gudnason says. He is not sure if the recent damage done will be reparable.
Meantime in Burlington Ontario, arson is suspected, in a fire that destroyed part of Trinity Baptist Church, Wednesday morning. The Ontario Fire Marshall’s office is investigating.
We will be following the stories.