Arson in Großröhrsdorf destroys 300 year old Evangelical church

Country: Germany

Date of incident: August 4, 2023

On 4 August the baroque Evangelical church of Großröhrsdorf, a small town in Saxony, burned down to the ground. After a week of investigation, the criminal investigation department determined that the cause of the fire was arson and a suspect has already been arrested.

According to the investigation carried out by the police, the possibility of negligent arson was excluded, as there had been an explosion during the fire. The only arrested suspect is a 40-year-old man who has already confessed his crime and is in custody. He is accused of serious arson. The spokesman for the Görlitz public prosecutor's office, which is handling the case, said there had been "disputes" between the arsonist and the church and that this was possibly the cause of the arson, but no more information was revealed.

The Großröhrsdorf church was consecrated in 1736 and is practically completely destroyed after the fire. The top of the 50-meter-high bell tower and the roof truss collapsed, and the building burned down to the foundations. A fundraiser for its reconstruction was launched immediately after the tragic event and three days later it had already raised 155,000 euros. Stefan Schwarzenberg, the church's pastor thanked the support by saying "I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who stood by us during and after the night of the fire."

Sources: DNN - Dresdner Neueste NachrichtenSächsische.demdr.deSüddeutsche ZeitungVatican News 

Photos: Feuerwehr Großröhrsdorf & Gemeindefeuerwehren Wachau