Man climbed altar and preached own faith
TT/The Local · 12 Apr 2011, 16:11
Published: 12 Apr 2011 16:11 GMT+02:00
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Before the shocked congregation he tore down a large bronze crucifix and sent it flying to the ground, causing the arm of Jesus on the cross to fall off.
“We tried to calm him down and tell him that he wasn’t allowed to do that, but the situation was tumultuous, and it was impossible to have a dialogue,“ pastor Bo Johansson told newspaper Metro.
The man is reported to have arrived at the church among the others in the congregation and taken a seat in the front pew.
In the middle of the service he suddenly rose, leapt up on the altar, chanted ‘something in English’ and threw the giant crucifix to the ground.
Finally, he was overpowered and police were called to the scene.
However, not satisfied with the morning’s activities the man continued to the Lutheran mission house down the road, where he demanded permission to speak.
According to local newspaper Norra Skåne (NS), he then rambled on about witches and politics, and when asked to be quiet he snuffed out a candle and overturned a ceramic candleholder, which shattered on the floor.
The man was subsequently forced to leave the premises.
According to NS, the local police said that the man is not entirely unknown in Hässleholm. He has a history of disturbing religious services.
He was also recognised by the congregation in Hässleholm.
“He has shown up here before and stood out from the rest of the congregation, but we are hoping things will calm down now,” Johansson said to Metro.
The local police have identified the man and he is now under investigation for interrupting church services and damaging church property.