Arson: Christmas Nativity Set on Fire in Strasbourg Suburb

L'adoration des bergers redant hommage à la sainte famille devant la creche des sant
Jean-Marc ZAORSKI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A nativity scene in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, a suburb of Strasbourg, caught fire this week in an alleged arson attack, according to the local mayor.

The nativity scene, which was located in the middle of the town’s Christmas Market, was allegedly set on fire by a pair of unknown individuals, according got the mayor of Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Thibaud Philipps.

“There were several fires at the level of the small animals and the little Jesus,” mayor Philipps said and added, “On the surveillance videos that we were able to extract, we see two individuals stepping over the barricade to go to the nursery, which confirms the criminal trail,” broadcaster BFMTV reports.

“Everything will be done to find the perpetrators and ensure that they are convicted. These are acts that we strongly condemn and that attack our traditions and values,” the mayor said.

This year marks the third year the nativity has been placed in the Christmas market, with mayor Philipps commenting, ” It is very appreciated by the inhabitants. We bring sheep from our animal park to the nursery enclosure during the day. It has become an attraction for families.”

Local investigators are said to be reviewing local CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the alleged arsonists and Mayor Philipps stated that the city would restore the nativity and hire 24-hour security to guard the area and prevent any future attacks.

The suspected arson is just the latest anti-Christian attack in France in recent years and comes less than a month after a suspected arson attack on the cathedral of Saint-Pol-de-Léon that saw around a dozen chairs set on fire, causing significant amounts of smoke.

Earlier this year, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin spoke out on the ongoing anti-Christian attacks in France, saying, “The number of attacks indicates that religious intolerance is growing despite all the efforts to try to respect each other.”

In 2021 alone, out of a total of  1,659 anti-religious acts that year, 857 were anti-Christian in nature but some believe real figures may be even higher.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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