Paint and Fire Attack on Evangelical Church in Germany
Date of incident: December 27, 2019
Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance
Attack against: Faith / Morals
On December 27th an anonymous group attacked the independent evangelical church TOS Ministries Tübingen in southern Germany. Several masked people simultaneously set a minibus owned by the church on fire and sprayed the entry area of the church with purple paint. According to the police, the attack resulted in damage of 40,000 euros. A group calling itself a "Feminist Autonomous Cell" (“Feministische Autonome Zelle” FAZ) claimed responsibility for the attack a few days later in an online letter.
On January 2nd, a letter appeared on the extreme-left wing internet platform indymedia, in which a group called the "Feminist Autonomous Cell" claimed responsibility for the attack and explained their motives. While the police believe the letter to be genuine, the German State Criminal Police Office is skeptical. A spokesman said: “it is not impossible” that the letter came from the perpetrators but so far, they have no knowledge about the group. Because anyone can make posts on that internet platform, the letter would be examined along with other evidence in the ongoing investigation.
In a long letter, the group accused the church of having anti-feminist and homophobic attitudes, of promoting a patriarchal system, and colonialist world-view. The group also mentioned that this was not the first such attack on a TOS church, saying that feminists attacked the Leipzig branch in spring 2018.
Guido Kasch, pastor of TOS Church in Tübingen, said on Facebook: "We are shocked by this attack, but unfortunately not surprised in view of the increasingly hostile climate against evangelical Christians. In recent months we have seen aggressive threats against TOS church in Tübingen, especially from the left-wing scene."
Elisabeth Hege of the Evangelical Church in Tübingen strongly condemned the act on Friday and expressed her solidarity with the community. Tübingen's Mayor Boris Palmer described the attack on his Facebook page as "cowardly and despicable".