Police video footage shows a woman toppling and smashing an 84-year-old religious statue outside of a Catholic church in New York.
The statue was located at the Our Lady of Mercy parish in Forest Hills, New York.
According to The Christian Post, the woman also destroyed a second statue near Kessel Street and 70th Avenue.
In the video, the woman rocks the statue back and forth until it falls. She then uses a hammer to smash it.
Both statues depicted Mother Mary and St. Therese the Little Flower.
“It’s obviously premeditated; she came up on Wednesday and couldn’t do it and then came back on Friday with a hammer,” Diocese of Brooklyn spokesperson John Quaglione told The New York Daily News. “The element of the church being a safe place to worship, when something like this happens you have to think this will send shockwaves to people, ‘Am I safe going to church?”
In a Facebook post, the diocese asked that the church “continue to pray that in the face of attacks on our churches, hearts will convert to faith in Jesus Christ.”
This is the second time statues at the Our Lady of Mercy parish have been targeted. Just a few weeks ago, the statues were toppled over but not damaged. The diocese believes the same woman is responsible for both acts of destruction.
A replacement statue could cost about $12,000.
Many churches have been facing vandalism and destruction recently. In May, someone toppled a statue of Jesus’ crucifixion at a Brooklyn church and burned an American flag that was hanging outside the church.
“It is heartbreaking, but sadly it is becoming more and more common these days,” the church’s pastor, Father Frank Schwarz, said. “I pray that this recent rash of attacks against Catholic churches and all houses of worship will end, and religious tolerance may become more a part of our society.”
Photo courtesy: Grant Whitty/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.