Arson attempt on Hamburg church
Worshipers at the Immanuelkirche in the Veddel district of Hamburg were shocked to discover on Christmas morning that someone had vandalised and tried to burn down their church.
During the night arsonists had stacked up the furniture in an apartment adjoining the church vestibule and set it on fire. Fortunately the attempt failed and only the furniture was burnt. However, the perpetrators also ransacked the church hall, broke into some locked benches, damaged musical instruments and attempted to break open a safe.
As a result the congregation were unable to use the church and had to hold their Christmas Day service in a meeting room instead. A Bible study group meeting scheduled for the next day was also disrupted.
Uschi Hoffmann, the church deacon, said: “This was a near catastrophe, the fire could have spread to the church and pastorate.” He added that the arson attack probably occurred at some point after 1am on Christmas Day. So far, nobody has been arrested in connection with the incident.
The current church is a modern design built in 1954 which replaced an older one on the same site dating back to 1905.