Massachusetts Catholic churches have suffered an outbreak of vandalism, and evidence suggests the vandals could be religiously-motivated Muslims.
Burlington Police Tuesday found three statues had been vandalized at St. Margaret Parish, The Boston Globe reports.
“Two statues, which sit at the top of a hill on the property, had their hands severed and multiple sets of rosary beads removed and scattered on the ground,” Burlington Police said in a statement. “The third statue, located near the rectory and depicting the Virgin Mary, had its head severed and both hands removed.”
The discovery comes just days after vandals spray-painted a statue of the Virgin Mary at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood on Good Friday, the sacred holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus. It’s unclear whether the crimes are connected, but the quick succession is unusual. Mary’s statue in Norwood was coated in black spray paint, and at the bottom, as pointed out by JihadWatch, someone painted the word “Allah.”
“The Arabic script is somewhat convoluted; but, yes, it does say ‘Allah,’” Shaul Bakhash, George Mason University world history professor, told The Daily Caller News Foundation after reviewing the writing.
Norwood Police told TheDCNF they had not yet made any arrests. Burlington police are still investigating.
“This is a deeply disturbing crime committed against a religious institution in our community during a major holiday season,” Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said in a statement. “We will undertake a thorough investigation and use all assets at our disposal to find those responsible and hold them accountable.”