Smashing windows, setting fire to things and defecating in the church: The incidents in the parish church in Friesenheim (photo above) have increased again in recent weeks. The parish has now called in the police.
The Catholic parish of Friesenheim is stunned. For weeks now, the parish church in Oberschopfheim has once again become the target of vandals. “Before Easter, matches were set on fire in St Leodegar’s church. Sacrificial candles were burnt, burnt matches were spread in the church interior and a pew and a seat cushion were burnt,” says parish priest Steffen Jelic in a press release.
But that was not all: on April 5, two windows of the toilet facility below the church were smashed with stones, “which we reported to the police”, said Jelic. Then, on Monday, the cleaning staff discovered that an unknown person had defecated inside the church near the bookstall and had also urinated on the church wall. “The stench had already been noticed the day before by our sacristan, who was unable to discover the source,” said Father Jelic.
The church congregation has drawn the attention of the Friesenheim municipality to this violation of the rules. “It would be extremely regrettable if we had to close the church during the day because of these incidents.” The church is often visited by believers for personal prayer, who then also light sacrificial candles there.
So far, the parish has decided against a general closure in case of such offences. “However, we are powerless in the face of such goings-on. In future, we will now close the church earlier in the evening,” says Pastor Jelic. In addition, the Lahr police station has assured us that they will increase their patrols in the district.
In Oberschopfheim, the vandalism of parish facilities has a recent history. Almost exactly two years ago on April 8, the toilet facilities to the parish hall were destroyed. Above all, the extent of the brutality with which the unknown persons acted caused horror. Damage amounting to several thousand euros was caused at the time.
Windows were smashed, toilets torn from their anchors or washbasins from the wall. Rain gutters were smashed and shutters on the parish hall were smashed. The toilet facilities were out of order for several months.
In addition, there was the destruction of five outdoor lamps, which are located on the passageway from the streets Kirchstraße to Oberdorfstraße. In addition, littering is an offence that runs like a red thread through the picture on the outside of the church.
Information about criminal offences can be given to the police station in Lahr by calling 07821/ 27 70. In Friesenheim, the municipal office for public order is responsible for administrative offences by calling 07821/6 33 72 55.