Minister for Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment Joachim Henry has condemned Sunday morning’s Molotov cocktail attack in Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Vieux Fort.
According to eyewitnesses, a man entered the church and exploded two incendiary devices, sending Parishioners hurrying out of the building.
The eyewitnesses said some individuals in attendance subdued the man.
They identified as the perpetrator as the same individual who launched a similar attack months ago against the Catholic church in Pierrot, Vieux Fort.
Police arrived and took the perpetrator into custody after Sunday’s incident while firefighters put out the fire in the church.
“The Ministry strongly condemns such an act,” Joachim Henry told reporters on Monday on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting.
“We’re looking forward to a society where we are more tolerant as it relates to faith-based organisations – as it relates to people’s belief, as it relates to how people live their lives,” Henry, responsible for ecclesiastical affairs, explained.
“We are different in so many ways but understand we need to embrace our differences and learn to live together. But we strongly condemn what happened at the Catholic Church,” the Castries South East MP told reporters.
Henry said he did not have all the details but understood that it was not the first time the individual involved in Sunday’s attack had committed such an act.
“It reminds me of what transpired at the Cathedral so many years ago,” the Minister stated.
On New Year’s Eve, 2000, two men, Kim John and Francis Philip, stormed the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries, doused parishioners with petrol, and set them ablaze.
After the attack, a nun and a priest died, and several individuals sustained injuries.
John and Philip pleaded guilty to manslaughter following a Privy Council decision that struck down an original death sentence for murder.
Both are now serving life sentences at Bordelais Correctional Facility.
(Story updated to correct typo in date of Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception attack)