A statue of Jesus was found decapitated Wednesday at a Catholic Church in south Florida, according to a local news report.
Edivaldo da Saliva, a deacon at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in West Kendall, told WPLG-TV he found the statue earlier this week, apparently ripped from its pedestal.
“This morning, I found it on the ground,” he said, “and we presume that it is vandalism.”
Da Saliva pointed out that Catholic congregations all around the U.S. have been facing vandalism and arson in recent days.
“We have seen this happening all over the country,” the deacon said.
The WPLG-TV reporter noted the bolts and rods that held the religious statue in place had been ripped from its platform, suggesting a lot of force was needed to heave the sculpture from its position.
Argemis Colome, a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Department, told Patch on Thursday that investigators will be looking into security footage of the alleged incident, which occurred either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
“Our general investigations unit as well as our Homeland Security Bureau are both looking into it,” the detective said.
The archdiocese of Miami told WPLG-TV it would like the ordeal to be investigated as “a hate crime,” calling it “another attack on the Catholic Church.”
This incident in south Florida comes after a weekend of destruction at Catholic places of worship, beginning last Saturday at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Marion County, where a 24-year-old assailant drove his vehicle into the church during a morning Mass, poured gasoline in the foyer, and set the building on fire before driving off. He has since been arrested and charged with attempted murder, arson, burglary, and evading arrest.
A statue of the Virgin Mary at a Catholic Church in Boston was set ablaze the same day.
Evangelical worship leader and former California congressional candidate Sean Feucht wondered, “Where’s the outrage?”
Right-wing provocateur Mike Cernovich also questioned the lack of media attention to the acts of vandalism.