A viral video on social media appears to a show a man standing on top of a church and ripping down its cross in broad daylight.
The video shows a young male methodically yanking down the cross on top of the Chadwell Heath Baptist Church, which describes itself as “an informal multinational congregation of around 70 people [who] seek to worship God and pray together, to share the good news of Jesus Christ, to encourage people to be His disciples and serve the local community and wider church family.”
The man makes no attempt to even partially hide his identity — which would not be difficult, with the sight of people wearing masks even outdoors not uncommon in London amid the ongoing Wuhan virus pandemic — and appears heedless of the fact that there are multiple people at the scene or passing by at the time of the act.
This happened in chadwell heath today
— London & UK Crime (@CrimeLdn) October 18, 2020
The video has elicited a furious response on social media, with many users suggesting that the man’s actions would have been front-page news and the subject of public denouncements by leading politicians had his apparent target been a Muslim mosque rather than a Christian church.
Inundated with a mixture of angry and concerned messages, the Barking and Dagenham team of Metropolitan Police police appeared to address the outcry, assuring the public that they were “aware of a video circulating on social media of a male causing damage to a religious premises on High Road, Chadwell Heath.”
“A male has been arrested and the matter is being investigated,” they added, urging witnesses to contact them on the 101 non-emergency telephone number quoting the reference cad 4071/18OCT. 323EA.
Police further confirmed to Breitbart London that the events were reported to them and that officers had attended the scene and arrested a man “on suspicion of criminal damage”. There was no mention of religiously-aggravated hate crime charges — although this does not rule out the possibility that they might be pursued later.
The cross has been recovered.
We are aware of a video circulating on social media of a male causing damage to a religious premises on High Road, Chadwell Heath. A male has been arrested and the matter is being investigated. Any witnesses please call 101 quote cad 4071/18OCT. 323EA
— Barking & Dagenham Police #Hands_Face_Space (@MPSBarkDag) October 18, 2020