Rep.Chuck Fleischman (R-Tenn.), urged U.S. Attorney General William Barr in a letter to protect U.S. religious freedoms from attacks on churches and catholic symbols.
In the letter to the Justice Department on Wednesday, Aug. 5, Fleischman called the multiple attacks on places of worship across the country by radical leftist groups a “disturbing trend.”
In a tweet Fleischman said, “Today, I sent a letter to AG Barr urging the DOJ to protect religious freedom & combat religious discrimination in the U.S.”
Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Fleischman said that radical groups who were willing to vandalize any place of worship should not be tolerated and that their actions should be punished as hate crimes.
“I find these attacks to be a disturbing trend, happening in multiple areas across the nation, including within my own congressional district,” he added.
According to the Daily Caller, arson, attempted murder, and vandalism are among the incidents that have been occurring across the country. In early June, a man was arrested for spray-painting Nazi symbols along with anti-Catholic slogans on several tombstones at a Catholic university in Rhode Island.
“Since June, there have been nearly a dozen reported attacks on Catholic churches around the nation. These disturbing attacks range from arson to the beheading of a statue of the Virgin Mary,” according to the letter.
“In times of uncertainty we naturally turn to religion for comfort and peace, something many Americans are seeking as we combat COVID-19 [the CCP Virus], but these attacks add another level of distress for many across our nation,” Fleischman said.
Similar incidents took place in Florida and Tennessee, including a statue of Jesus Christ that ended up being vandalized in Miami and another of the Virgin Mary that was beheaded in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Last month, Fleischman urged Americans to condemn random violence against houses of worship and religious figures and acknowledge that such acts are wrong.
In a statement, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops questioned the acts of vandalism that have taken place in different parts of the country, calling on the nation to adopt the values of the Catholic faith.
“Our nation finds itself in an extraordinary hour of cultural conflict. The path forward must be through the compassion and understanding practiced and taught by Jesus and his Holy Mother. (…) We respond to confusion with understanding and to hatred with love,” the statement said.