Rome (NEV / Riforma.it), October 12, 2018 – Around 5 a.m. of Sunday October 7, while darkness still covered everything, unknown people entered the premises of the Baptist church of Via Verdi in Varese. Keyboards, mixers, microphones and other technological equipment were stolen. Then fire was set to and burnt the electrical system and everything around. Fire did not directly affect the place of worship, but the smoke blackened all the walls while the heat broke all the windows.
“The premises are completely uninhabitable and the damage is still to be quantified – reads a post left on the Facebook wall of the Baptist evangelical church of Varese -. We could only see how badly the delinquents intervened in our dear church. Policemen, firemen and the police forensic department promptly intervened. We ask for your support and prayers in this difficult moment for our community”.
The reasons for the arson attack are not yet clear. The Baptist Church houses the Ghanaian church in its premises and among its members has dr. Andi Nganso, the doctor from Cameroon refused by a patient because “black”. Is there a racist motivation behind this violent act? At the moment, both pastor Erasmo Nocco and Paola Tammone, member of the church council, are doubtful about the racist attack since there are no signs or claim in this direction.
Many messages of solidarity have meanwhile been received by the church community from many brothers and sisters of various evangelical communities. Giovanni Arcidiacono, president of the Christian protestant baptist union in Italy (UCEBI), on October 8, sent a letter to the churches announcing that, while waiting for the firemen report and the police investigation results, UCEBI has activated its technical office and legal department, to start the restoration of the places.
The letter includes an invitation to the churches to dedicate a Sunday collection for the church of Varese, to be credited to the UCEBI current account: Ente Patrimoniale UCEBI – IBAN: IT31S0100503215000000000008 – reason: for the church of Varese).