Cross Put on Fire in Strunjan
Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance
Attack against: Faith
Nature of attack: Arts | Private
Tags: Intolerance towards Religious Symbols | Hate Incident
The votive cross was first erected by seamen and fishermen in the year 1600 to fulfill a vow and obtain divine protection on the sea. Last year it was restored by the local residents in preparation for this year's celebration of the 500th anniversary of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Dean Verzel teamed up with Andrej Medved, a philosopher and poet, who recited his poetry at the burning cross: “The cross does not symbolize spontaneity and freedom but hierarchy, subordination, dullness. Therefore it is a sign that has to fall. And with it every god, which is like petrification of fire,” says Medved's song.
The burning of the cross as the votive image is understood by Slovenian Christians as a direct act of “Christianophobia” sowing religious intolerance.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference Commission on Justice and Peace has issued a statement saying that they see the burning of the votive cross as a “malicious act of public incitation and provocation of religious hatred and intolerance through desecration of religious symbols of Christianity, an attempt at stigmatization of Christians in our society (christianophobia), and an effort to deliberately offend religious feelings.”
The parish community of the Apparition of Mary at Strunjan held a reconciliation prayer service on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord on Thursday, the 17th of May 2012. The theme of the service was “Under the cross”, saying: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
See pictures here.
Press office of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference