Fires Set at Three German Churches in Ostholstein District
Date of incident: April 4, 2018
Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance
Attack against: Faith
Area of case: Private
From April 1st to April 4th, fires were set in front of the wooden entrance doors of three churches in Heiligenhafen by unknown perpetrators.
The first arson attack was perpetrated against the Protestant church Stadtkirche von Heiligenhafen during the night of Easter Sunday, April 1st.
Pastor Caroline Lilienthal, who had been on duty in Heiligenhafen since February 1st, noticed a burnt smell upon entering hte church. Along with other church officials, she discovered that someone had tried to burn the heavy wooden main door. "That's bad - and completely incomprehensible," says Caroline Lilienthal. "But I trust the police that the perpetrators will soon be arrested."
Three days later, during the early hours of April 4th, a driver alerted the police and the fire department after he witnessed two fires outside the doors of the Sankt Ansgar Catholic Church and the New Apostolic Church (Neuapostolische Kirche) located on Kirchhofstraße.
The Catholic church suffered serious damage to the large copper-clad door in the entrance portal.
According to the police, each of the fires was set in the same way: small piles of rubbish and newspapers were placed in front of the entrance doors and set on fire.
The investigators at the Criminal Police Office in Oldenburg are asking for witnesses with information to call 04361/10550.