Christian Solidarity Worldwide, June 30, 2019
Since December 2015, at least 40 churches or church-related buildings such as seminaries have been partially or completely destroyed in two areas of Chile.
Though the government launched an investigation into the arson attacks in 2016 and some people were arrested, the attacks have continued. The most recent target was a Catholic church, burned down on 8 January 2019.
Handwritten notes, signs and pamphlets have been found at many of the sites of the attacks, the content of which indicates that churches are a specific target. Leaflets found at the sites of two of the churches included a threat to burn “all the churches”.
The continuing attacks have sown fear among Christians with many congregations worried that their church or church buildings might be the next target.
Many of the targeted churches have members from very low-income backgrounds, and they now face a very difficult situation to rebuild their churches after the complete destruction of the building and contents.