Arsonists attacked the Seventh-day Adventist church building in
Ashburton, New Zealand, on Sunday morning, March 9, 2014.
According to the South New Zealand Conference, two fires were
lit inside the church around 7:00 a.m., damaging the foyer and other areas of
Ashburton church pastor Paul Gredig said fire officials were
quick to respond to the blaze, and that church officers are working closely
with police and the insurance company.
Gredig said the crisis has complicated an already difficult situation
regarding the Ashburton church building, which was damaged in the 2010 Canterbury
A few days before the fires were lit, church leaders at a
business meeting voted to put the property up for sale. The congregation has
been meeting in the Baptist Church Youth Hall since the earthquakes.