Molotov cocktail thrown against the church of Saint-Martin-des-Champs

Country: France

Date of incident: January 18, 2023

There have been multiple cases in France, where churches have been targeted for hate crimes, theft or vandalism. The newest incident happened on January 18. near Paris, where the church of Saint-Martin-des-Champs and its front door and facade were partially burned. An unknown perpetrator has thrown an incendiary device, which was reported to be a molotov cocktail, against the front door at around five o'clock in the morning.

According to the news report, thanks to two people, a worse situation was prevented. The fire in the church was quickly contained thanks to the responsiveness of two students living in the church, said Father Stéphane-Paul Bentz. The students were woken up by the fire alarms in their rooms, which were beginning to smoke, and then they called the fire brigade.

According to the priest, "the video surveillance shows that a man came shortly before 5 and started the fire using a fuel that he had deliberately brought, probably hydrocarbons". Father Stéphane-Paul Bentz was the one who filed a complaint with the police.

UPDATE: The France bleu has reported that a suspect was arrested on Wednesday, the 25th of January, and the apparent perpetrator was a 47-year-old man. This same incident has been happening four times before and it was announced that the city will take legal a and further investigations. 

Sources and picture: fr.aleteia.orgfrancebleu.frLe Parisien