Members of a Texas church performed a
to destroy a "demonic" statue that they discovered at their place of worship a week after a robbery.
"It's disheartening. It is sad to think that people would do something like that," said Bishop James Dixon of the Community of Faith Church in Acres Homes of north Houston.
The statue was found earlier on Sunday in the gazebo of the church. Members came together with their church leader to set the statue on fire and pray for the sanctity of their church.
"This is sacrilegious. This is holy ground. This is our church,"
one church member to KHOU-TV.
The statue appeared to be of "Santa Muerte," a bizarre object of worship among drug cartel members and other criminals, though it is not sanctioned by the Catholic church.
The church had been robbed a week before they found the statue at the gazebo. Surveillance video showed the robbers using a rolling cart to haul away a safe that had money and important documents of the church.
"Here we are a week later and we're having to defend ourselves and pray again against the works of the enemy," Dixon told KHOU.
After the robbery, Dixon said that they were
for those responsible to repent and turn themselves in.
"We destroyed the works of the devil," Dixon said. "We've never had this before. So it hurts, you know, to know that this church does so much good for so many people."
In 2013, a Catholic church official
the worship of Santa Muerte "the celebration of devastation and of hell."
Here's a local news report about the incident:
Houston congregation holds ceremony to burn 'demonic' statue found outside of church
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