Greek police arrested a 36-year-old migrant man from Kazakhstan on suspicion of stealing €50,000 (£46,000/$56,000) worth of goods from churches.
The arrest took place on Saturday morning while the man was attempting to steal items from a church in the town of Lagadas. All of the thefts occurred in the Greek region of Thessaloniki over the last month, according to investigators.
The thefts are said to have started in late May. Police determined the man had been behind the earlier thefts after launching an investigation following his arrest, Greek newspaper Proto Thema reports.
According to investigators, the man stole various religious objects, including crucifixes and candelabras used during religious ceremonies.
Greece has seen several attacks on churches, allegedly by migrants, on the island of Lesbos in recent months. Last month, the Hungarian government donated $30,000 (£24,000) towards repairing the damage caused by the migrant vandals.
Hungary Donates Funds to Repair Greek Churches Vandalized by Migrants https://t.co/TFdkvKK5er
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Tristan Azbej, State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, announced the move last month, saying: “As part of the @HungaryHelps programme, we’re contributing USD 30,000 to the refurbishment of churches vandalised by immigrants on the Greek island of Lesbos.”
“I hope our messages about protecting Christian heritage and about illegal migration get through,” he added.
Greece is not the only country in recent months to see a surge of attacks on churches, including thefts and even arson attacks.
France has seen a wave of anti-Christian attacks in the past several years. A report from March 2019 claimed that the country sees as many as three attacks on churches every day.
Last month, the Church of Saint-Jean-des-Cordeliers in southwest France was just one of the latest churches to be attacked, with thieves stealing consecrated hosts. Some have seen the stealing of consecrated hosts as being linked to Satanist groups.