Several churches have been set on fire by groups of arsonists amid protests in the capital of Chile.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) October 19, 2020
Protestors had gathered in Santiago to mark the one year anniversary of anti-government protests which took place last year with widespread rioting and robbery at the time, and reportedly causing the death of up to 30 people.
Yesterday evening, October 18th, the protest became violent, with masked groups entering and setting fire to churches.
St. Francis Borgia Church, the church of the country’s national police force, and the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary were both set on fire. They are among the oldest churches in Santiago, with the Church of the Assumption built in 1876.
Catholic News Agency reports that a number of churches across Chile have been attacked and looted in recent times, and that St. Francis Borgia Church suffered serious damage in January after demonstrators first set fire to the church and then blocked firefighters trying to douse the flames.
Journalist John Bartlet said the scene was chaotic.
Absolute chaos in Santiago – the church spire has come down in flames pic.twitter.com/FZHmrVCquy
— John Bartlett (@jwbartlett92) October 18, 2020
And pointed to the church nearby also in flames
A second church (which had also been burned earlier) is on fire now, not far from the first pic.twitter.com/wA5OiXKJMa
— John Bartlett (@jwbartlett92) October 19, 2020