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Jesus statue found beheaded at Catholic church; archdiocese wants incident investigated as hate crime

'This is another attack on the Catholic Church which is happening across the country'

Image source: YouTube screenshot

A statue of Jesus was found decapitated Wednesday at a Catholic Church in south Florida, WPLG-TV reported.

Deacon Edivaldo da Saliva of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in West Kendall told the station he found the statue toppled off its pedestal.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

"This morning I found it on the ground, and we presume that it is vandalism," da Saliva noted to WPLG.

What are the details?

The station's reporter noted numerous bolts and rods needed to keep the statue upright on its pedestal, which he could mean a great deal of force was needed to topple it and that more than one person was behind the vandalism.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Da Silva pointed out a number of surveillance cameras at the church, but none of them are directed toward the area where the statue once stood, WPLG said. But he told the station he hopes the cameras can offer clues about what took place.

Detective Argemis Colome of the Miami-Dade Police Department told Patch Thursday that investigators will be reviewing video from the security cameras.

"Our general investigations unit as well as our Homeland Security Bureau are both looking into it," Colome told the outlet, adding that the incident occurred either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

What did the archdiocese have to say?

The Archdiocese of Miami told WPLG it expects police to "investigate this desecration as a hate crime. This is another attack on the Catholic Church which is happening across the country."

A diocesan spokesperson added to Patch that an overnight security guard has been hired.

Da Saliva also noted to WPLG that the Jesus statue vandalism isn't an isolated incident, as related acts have been spiking at places of worship across the U.S.

Indeed, over the weekend a Florida man allegedly crashed his van into the Queen of Peace Catholic Sanctuary in Ocala and then set it on fire with parishioners inside the building, and a statue of the Virgin Mary was burned outside a Boston church.

In May, the pastor of First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs in Mississippi said his church was burned to the ground because its congregants wanted to worship in person — rather than remotely — during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Detective Colome told Patch that "it's a place of worship. During difficult times people need guidance and seek guidance."

Image source: YouTube screenshot

"God bless you all, and let us all pray for peace in our country and peace in Miami," Deacon da Saliva told WPLG.

Church members want answers after status of Jesus Christ is vandalized youtu.be

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