19 May 2016
Jim Wells, DUP MLA for South Down, has expressed his outrage at the arson attack on Rathfriland Baptist Church on Wednesday night.
He said, 'The sectarian and christophobic attack on the meeting place of Rathfriland Baptist Church was an act of cowardice and destruction which is unfortunately an increasing trend across Northern Ireland. The calculated nature of this attack, using tyres to build the fire, shows the perverted desire of the perpetrators to cause maximum destruction to the building.'
'What those who carry out such attacks on church buildings do not understand is that the church is the people, not the building. Whilst the congregation are understandably deeply saddened by the damage to their meeting place they will continue to worship as a community.'
First Minister Arlene Foster sent a message of support for the congregation:
'I would like to pass on my good wishes and prayers to the Pastor and congregation of Rathfriland Baptist Church after the attack on their church building.'