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Hundreds of Bibles burnt down outside a Tennessee church in US on Easter

Apr 01, 2024 04:26 PM IST

Hundreds of Bibles set ablaze outside an evangelical church in Tennessee on Easter morning

A trailer filled with Bibles was set on fire outside an evangelical church in Tennessee on Easter morning, local police reported. The church's far-right pastor condemned the act as intentional.

Hundreds of Bibles set ablaze outside an evangelical church in Tennessee on Easter morning

Around 6 a.m. on Sunday, police and firefighters rushed to a trailer fire at an intersection near the Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, a city about 20 miles east of Nashville, according to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

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The sheriff’s office stated, “The trailer, containing Bibles, was intentionally dropped off in the middle of the intersection and set on fire.” No further details were immediately disclosed, as the sheriff’s office aims to maintain the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

Pastor Greg Locke, the founder of Global Vision and a self-proclaimed “social media firebrand,” shared photos of the charred utility trailer filled with burned Bibles on Facebook and Instagram. In his caption, he mentioned that the church’s security cameras captured a man parking the trailer “right in front of our church.”

During a live-streamed Easter service, Pastor Locke assured his congregation that the culprit would soon face serious consequences. Although he had not personally viewed the security footage, he described it, saying, “He’s got his hazard lights on at 5:58 in the morning. I’m like, ‘Wow, here’s the most polite crook I’ve ever met.’ I’ve never met polite Satanists. And so he unhooks the trailer and douses it with gasoline. There were probably 200 Bibles. I don’t know where he got them.”

Locke expressed his intention to distribute the scorched Bible pages but mentioned that authorities confiscated them as evidence. He claimed that the incident was being investigated as a hate crime and that the FBI was involved.

Locke, an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump who frequently criticizes President Joe Biden, the news media, and “crack-smoking, demon-possessed leftists,” is a controversial figure. He has drawn national headlines for his vaccine skepticism, anti-LGBTQ+ stunts, and book burnings. Additionally, he has clashed with neighbors and county authorities over the noise from his late-night services and construction projects.

Global Vision has experienced several vandalism incidents in recent years. In 2020, ahead of a scheduled appearance by Trump loyalist Roger Stone, the church was tagged with the phrases “repent” and “Locke + Stone will burn in hell,” and the letters “FU” were sprayed on the pastor’s pulpit.

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