Sweden’s Spanga Church Firebombed in Stockholm Suburb
By Staff, Agencies
The Spanga Church in the immigrant-heavy Stockholm suburb of Tensta has been firebombed, as three Molotov cocktails were thrown at the church, the newspaper Dagen reported.
One firebomb was hurled at the church gate and the other two at the windows, which were smashed.
Despite the bombs penetrating the window panes, the attackers didn't succeed in setting the church premises on fire, as the flames didn't catch on the church's interior.
The police have since cordoned off the area for a technical investigation and classified the crime as arson. So far, no one has been arrested for the attack.
"It is a strong symbolic act", pastor Jerker Alsterlund told national broadcaster SVT about the attack. "I don't know why anyone would want to do this. It can be about arousing disgust or provoking", Alsterlund added.
This is not the first time the Spanga Church has been subjected to violent attacks. In December 2018, an explosive device detonated in one of the church's meeting rooms. No one was convicted of that crime.
"This time it is worse when it is so clearly directed at the church", Jerker Alsterlund said, calling the previous attack "an experiment".
"In these areas, people are more aware that this is a symbolically negative act. You are more sensitive to churches and holy places if you come from regions where religion plays a greater role. So this probably provokes reactions in many people", Alsterlund told Dagen.
The attack was widely lamented on social media.
"Sad! The church of my childhood, where the graves of my parents and many friends lie. Who or what hates and wants to harm our churches?", one user wrote.