Statue of Mary in courtyard of Singapore church, gifted by ex-Johor Sultan, found defaced

The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary said on Nov 13, 2020 that a statue on its premises was vandalised the day before. — TODAY pic
The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary said on Nov 13, 2020 that a statue on its premises was vandalised the day before. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Nov 15 — A statue in the courtyard of a church in Hougang was found defaced on Thursday morning.

The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary said in a statement on its Facebook page at around 11pm on Friday that it found the vandalised statue at about 8.30am the day before, and has reported the issue to the authorities.

It added that investigations are ongoing.

The church urged parishioners to not speculate or spread unofficial information and to check its Facebook page for updates.

A photo of the statue of Mary, with marbles stuck on its eyes and a stroke of white paint on its forehead, was posted on a Facebook group on Friday afternoon after it made its rounds on WhatsApp.

The photo is not being published here because it has not been verified.

The police said in a statement that they responded to the case at about 10.50am on Friday. “(We) are investigating into the offence of defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class under Section 295 of the Penal Code,” they added.

The statue of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, has been with the Catholic church along Upper Serangoon Road for more than half a century.

It was donated by Sultan Ibrahim of Johor, Malaysia in 1946. He was friends with the parish priest of the church at the time, Reverend Father Francis Chan, who later became bishop of the Catholic Church in Penang. — TODAY

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