Man Vandalizes Religious Icon at D.C. Church

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    A man was arrested after allegedly desecrating a religious icon at a church in northwest D.C. Sunday. News4's Derrick Ward reports. (Published Monday, Sep 9, 2013)

    Police arrested a man accused of desecrating a religious icon at a church in northwest D.C. Sunday.

    The suspect started to go into St. Mary’s, an Ethiopian Orthodox church on Buchanan Street near 14th Street, but he turned around instead, grabbed a picture of St. Mary from a shelf outside the church, smashed it on the ground and said, “Mary has no power over us.”

    People followed him from the church and flagged down police, who took the man into custody.

    “We are concerned if this has any motive from another religion,” a church spokesman said.

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    Police must determine how to classify the alleged act.

    “Police asked me what the value of that picture is,” the church spokesman said. “I told them it’s priceless. It’s faith. You can’t put money on it.”

    Ethiopian Orthodox is a Christian religion branched off from the ancient Coptics, and it’s the predominant religion in Ethiopia.

    Damage to a picture of St. Mary at St. Mary's Ethiopian Orthodox Church in northwest D.C.