According to Medforth, the church is in a “Muslim stronghold,” Gelsenkirchen. Could this be arson by Muslims who believe that saying that Jesus is divine and died on the cross is an insult to Allah? There certainly are many recent incidents worldwide of Muslims torching churches. And in Europe:
Italy: Epidemic of thefts, beheadings, and hangings of statues of Jesus and saints, many by Muslim migrants
Germany: Statues of saints and crosses destroyed in five churches in Bamberg
#MyJihad in France: Muslim smashes up church, leaves Qur’an and prayer rug inside, writes “Allahu akbar” on smashed statues
“Church on fire,” translated from “Kirche in Flammen,” by Dirk Decker, Bild, April 5, 2021 (thanks to Medforth):
Gelsenkirchen – Dense smoke rises from the windows of the sacristy of the Church of St. Mary of the Assumption in Gelsenkirchen-Rotthausen. Shortly afterwards, the flames spread to the roof structure.
Large-scale operation for the fire department!
At around 7.15 p.m. on Easter Monday, the fire rescuers were alerted to the mission on Beethovenstrasse. At least 80 emergency services arrived with three turntable ladders. In order to ensure optimal fire fighting at great heights, an articulated mast platform from the BP Gelsenkirchen fire brigade was requested as support.
Fire department spokesman Carsten Jost (46): “The fire started from the sacristy and spread to the roof structure. The mission continued for several hours.”
The church building has been empty for around ten years and is no longer used.
The police had already been deployed to the church twice before. A door was open and the officers closed it again as best they could. Was it arson? Shortly before the fire broke out, witnesses had seen youths run away.