Church statue vandalized in Palisades Park

March 19, 2012 2:15:55 PM PDT
Police in New Jersey are searching for the vandals who beheaded a statue outside a Roman Catholic Church.

It is the latest in a string of religious vandalism in Bergen County.

Parishioners at the St. Nicholas Church on East Brinkerhoff Avenue in Palisades Park were shocked when they arrived at church Sunday morning to find the statue of their patron saint headless.

Authorities believe the statue was vandalized sometime Saturday night, but they have no idea why someone would want to damage the statue that has stood in front of the church since 2008.

Church-goers say this is especially upsetting since it happened during the holy season of Lent. They are also concerned that this incident follows a string of attacks at other religious institutions, including vandalism at synagogues in Hackensack and Maywood, as well as the firebombing of a synagogue in Rutherford.

Police do not believe the incidents are necessarily related, but residents say it just adds to the feelings of hate and intolerance in the community.

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