Man drives a truck into Austrian free church

Country: Austria

Date of incident: July 8, 2024

On Monday evening, July 8, a man drove a truck into the Pentecostal Elim Church in Brunn am Gebirge, Austria. According to the police, this was a deliberate attack. The man confessed that he had acted out of anger, the perpetrator, however, is not known to the church.

A 32-year-old Romanian, who has been in Austria since 2020, drove a twelve-ton truck into the Romanian church on the evening of July 8. The facade, windows and doors were badly damaged and in danger of collapsing, according to the police. Meanwhile, the building has been stabilised. At the time of the crime, at around 4:45 p.m., three people, including the pastor, were in the building. Fortunately, they let the office due to the noise, just a few minutes before the same office was completely destroyed by the truck. They managed to escape without being injured.

According to police spokesman Johann Baumschlager, the Romanian confessed during the first questioning. He justified the crime by saying that the Free Church had "destroyed his life". However, the man is not known to the church and seems to have projected some anger and frustration on the congregation. Two weeks ago, there was an incident in which a man tore up a Bible in church and allegedly said that the church had destroyed his life. The police is investigating whether this was the same person. 

While driving to the free church the perpetrator caused several accidents on the way from Vienna to Brunn am Gebirge. Besides damaging several cars his truck touched a pedestrian who was slightly injured.

The police are currently questioning the man. Due to the possibility of a religiously motivated background, the State Office for State Protection and Combating Extremism (LSE) has taken over the investigation.

Source:; interview on;

Image: ELIM Gemeinde