Appeal after arson attack at Rathfriland Baptist church

Three fire appliances attended an incident at Rathfriland Baptist Church last night after smoke was spotted rising from the roof and doors.
Tyres were set against the building which sustained damage to the inside and windows
Three fire appliances attended an incident at Rathfriland Baptist Church last night after smoke was spotted rising from the roof and doors. Tyres were set against the building which sustained damage to the inside and windows

Damage was caused to Rathfriland Baptist church last night after tyres were placed against the property and set alight.

Police are appealing for information following the report of an arson attack at a church in the Loughbrickland Road which is believed took place between 11pm and 11.30pm.

One line of inquiry being investigated is whether the attack was sectarian.

The church sustained damage to the side of the building and windows.

In a tweet, Pastor Ian Wilson said: “Suspected arson attack on our church last night in spite of this setback we can rejoice knowing that the Devil may Roar but Christ reigns.”

Police would appeal to anyone who has any information about this incident to contact Police at Armagh on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Chris Hazzard has condemned the arson attack as “wrong”.

“Thankfully no-one was injured in this attack but there is no doubt it will cause a great deal of distress to those who use the church,” he said.

“All places of worship should be treated with respect. I would encourage anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI.”