By Worthy News North America Service
WASHINGTON, USA (Worthy News)-- Despite tensions, Baptist Christians in the U.S. state of Tennessee prepared for worship Sunday, February 28, as local police continued to investigate an attack on a church bus by young arsonists.
Church and local authorities said a group of teens even used pages of a Bible to add fuel to Thursday's fire. "The disrespect to God's property is how we see it," said Assistant Pastor Joel Young in an interview with local television.
Charred corners of the Bible were still scattered on the Middle Tennessee Baptist Church parking lot, television footage showed.
Police said the suspects appeared to have a change of heart and tried to use the extinguisher to put out the fire. The bus apparently received only minor damage.
Assistant Pastor Joel Young said church buses are used to drive church members, which he described as an important mission. "These buses are the heartbeat of the church. Some of the buses you see go pick up children who can't get rides come to the church. We provide that for them," he said.
The extinguisher and the bible are pieces of evidence that could link authorities to the culprits, who took off before anyone could stop them, according to local police. Hopefully we'll get some information from it," added Assistant Chief Allen Swader with the Murfreesboro Fire Department.
The attack was the latest in a series of incidents, said Young, adding that the church had been vandalized several times.
Several Christian groups have suggested that an increasing number of churches and active, devoted, Christians are being attacked in the United States. In one of the bloodiest known incidents this year, two street preachers were killed.
Tite Sufra, 24, and Stephen Ocean, 23, were shot and killed January 30 in Boynton Beach in the U.S. State of Florida, where they evangelized, after meeting 18-year-old Jeriah Woody, local police said. (With Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos).