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Statue of the Virgin Mary beheaded, Churches vandalised in ‘extremist’ attacks

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Destroying religious statues and icons is a righteous act under Islam.

“Churches vandalised and statue of the Virgin Mary beheaded in ‘extremist’ attacks,” By Chris Riches, Express, Jan 8, 2016:

DETECTIVES are hunting vandals who targeted two churches, beheading statues of Joseph and the Virgin Mary.

Twelve window panes at historic St Chad’s Church in the Lancashire town of Poulton-le-Fylde were smashed last week, just two months after they were repaired.

The vandals then turned on the church’s outdoor Nativity scene, decapitating a statue of the Virgin Mary and stealing the head.

Within 24 hours, churchgoers at Poulton Methodist Church were shocked to find their 3ft-tall outdoor Nativity statue of Joseph had also been beheaded.
Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 5.22.40 PM

The congregations of both churches fear the attacks may have been the work of anti-Christian extremists. Robert Sly, verger at St Chad’s, said: “It’s very disappointing especially because the windows had just been refurbished.

We wouldn’t like any building to be vandalised but obviously the church is a special place for us

Robert Sly, verger at St Chad’s

“We spent around £13,500 on them. We have no idea how much it will cost to repair the damage.

“The screen in front of our Nativity scene was smashed and the Virgin Mary had her head knocked off.

“Normally we don’t have problems with vandalism. We wouldn’t like any building to be vandalised but obviously the church is a special place for us.”

Church-windows
The church’s windows had only recently been repaired

At Poulton Methodist Church, the vandals smashed a thick window of protective acrylic glass to gain access to the religious display. Church steward May Gandhi, 69, said: “We are all extremely upset because we are trying our very best to make the place look nice. But we can’t stop people walking through the church so there’s really nothing we can do.

“The statue cost £135 to buy. What a shame it will be if we can’t have another Nativity next year.”

church window2
The church had recently spent £13,500 repairing them

St Chad’s is first mentioned in a document of 1094 but there could well have been a church on the same spot in Saxon times.

The church is dedicated to an Anglo Saxon bishop who died in 627 AD. Vicar Martin Keighley said yesterday: “We will not let the vandals win. We are looking to replace the statue of the Virgin Mary and make sure the crib is repaired and the Nativity scene is there again next year. We will put the church to rights and make sure everything is as it should be.”

A police spokesman said: “An unknown offender used a hammer-type weapon to smash windows in the church at around 10.30pm on December 29. The suspect is a white male in a black jacket.”

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