Thursday, March 18, 2021
Though you wouldn’t know it from most American media outlets, the phenomenon of vandalizing and burning religious sites which is accelerating in Europe has, like a virus, jumped an ocean and is now among us.
Over the past month, statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary have been damaged in states as far apart as Colorado, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. On July 11, a vehicle was driven into a Catholic church in Florida with the clear intent of burning the building to the ground while congregants were inside.
But it’s not just Catholic symbols and edifices being targeted. America’s Jewish community has received similar treatment. During protests in late-May, for example, anti-Israel slogans were daubed on the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Los Angeles’s Fairfax district. Several kosher stores were also vandalized and smeared with anti-Semitic slurs. That same month, Congregation Beth Ahabah, which has been in Richmond, Virginia, for over 200 years was vandalized during protests.