Police say man who desecrated altar at Denpasar church is chronically depressed

The altar at Saint Joseph Church in Denpasar after it was desecrated. Photo: sekehedemenbali / Instagram
The altar at Saint Joseph Church in Denpasar after it was desecrated. Photo: sekehedemenbali / Instagram

Police said that the man – identified by his initial, A – who desecrated the altar at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Denpasar yesterday was chronically depressed and is now being treated at Sanglah General Hospital. 

“When we asked him questions, he remained quiet. He didn’t say much, so we brought him to Sanglah General Hospital, and from our communication with the doctors we learned that he was chronically depressed,” Denpasar Police Chief, Ruddi Setiawan, said today, as reported by state news agency Antara. 

A was at the church yesterday morning with his wife when he suddenly cried out and went berserk. He reportedly damaged the altar and flower vases in the church, among other things, which prompted the church staff to contact authorities, who came and apprehended A soon after. 

“He suddenly cried, and his wife tried to hug him, but he slammed her away,” Ruddi said, adding that doctors said he seemed unstable with moments of highs and lows that could’ve led him to act out. 

A, who is known to be a frequent churchgoer at Saint Joseph, will reportedly be undergoing further treatment at Sanglah General Hospital. 

During the church incident, A allegedly broke three windows of the church, the glass windows of the cabinet where the Bible is kept, as well as ornaments that were kept on top of the altar. 

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