A suspected arsonist and follower of Satan, has been burning Bibles and inscribing messages that indicate he is trying to uplift the devil, outside various churches in Mesa, Arizona, according to police reports.
The Arizona Republic reports that on three separate occasions in May, the suspected Satanist, who is believed to be of Hispanic or White descent and in his early 20s or late teens, burned Bibles outside the Mesa Baptist Church.
The culprit is still at large and is being sought after by the police, but he has since progressed to burning Bibles at other churches, including the East Mesa Christian Church, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, and the Calvary Baptist Church last June, the report continues.
The first occurrence was on Mothers Day, according to Mesa Baptist Church Pastor Mark Rice. He added that members of the church were just about to open for morning worship when they noticed a burned Bible outside the double front doors.
Rice went on to say that he dismissed the first occasion as a prank, but when it happened again a week later, he began to suspect that it was the work of a more serious offender. He added that on the third occasion, a day later, they not only found a burned Bible, but an inscription on a metal gate with the words “hail Satan” in 3-inch letters.
Although Rice believes that the perpetrator of the crime does not wish to burn down the church because he would have placed the fire closer, he is hoping that the man will not progress further, given encouragement by avoiding capture.
Diana Williams, spokesperson for the Mesa police, said that the offense is being looked into as a crime biased against Christianity. She added that the architect of the crime is obviously sending a message, but it is not clear exactly what that is.
Rice believes that the intention is to promote an anti-Christian message and further stop the spreading of the Word of God. He also believes that the crime represents the age-old battle between good and evil.
Rice went on to say that since the birth of Christianity, that’s the way it has been. He added “I don’t take it as a personal attack, a personal affront as much as I recognize the battle of good and evil. And I’m on the good side—the God side—and we’re hoping that we can really help these people.”