A man was caught on camera throwing a stone at a statue of Jesus and setting it on fire in front of a church.
The bizarre incident took place outside Saint Bernard Catholic Church in Sunrise, Florida, US at around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, November 21.
Security cameras capture the topless man approaching the garden next to the entrance to the church where a white statue of Jesus is perching.
It appears that he is holding a rock over his head and throwing it directly at the statue and dropping it back.
The man leaves the site and returns with a can of accelerator, which he empties into the garden and sets it on fire.
Father Jorge Rodriguez de la Viuda told WPLG Local 10 that not only were the hands of the Jesus statue broken, but some other statues around the church were damaged.
The statue of the Virgin Mary was beheaded and the statue of Saint Francis was also missing a head.
He said, “How can you do such harm to a loving community?
“Thank goodness it didn’t damage the wall or the building.”
To the priest’s surprise, some of the broken sculptures shoved into a rain drain were found.
The Saint Bernard Catholic Church estimates a loss of approximately $ 6,000 (£ 4,500).
“What he did is very sad, and I know it doesn’t represent who he is,” said Father Rodriguez de la Viuda.
“I’d like to tell him we love him and we pray for him.”
The church posted on Facebook: “Last Saturday, November 21, 2020, our parish office was destroyed by a person who destroyed the three statues that stood there for years.
“We reported to Sunrise Police and we pray for the repentance of the author of this crime against the Catholic faithful.”
Sunrise police are investigating.