Serbian church and three more Orthodox temples were set on fire deliberately?
Hours after parishioners celebrated Easter, which fell on Sunday (May 1) in the Orthodox community, a fire gutted their landmark Manhattan cathedral.
“Our church has burned down last night,” read the announcement the next day on the website of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava.
The church is the religious and cultural center for Serbians in the Greater New York area and is named for a 13th-century saint who served as the first archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Parishioners expressed shock at the news Sunday night and Monday morning, as firefighters continued to pour water on the remains of the building — little more than its walls and part of its roof.
The fire has been labeled “suspicious.” The term does not imply that it was intentionally set, but rather that investigators do not yet know the cause, said a spokesman for the New York City fire department. blaze took no lives and caused no serious injuries, but sent more than 170 firefighters to the scene on West 25th Street in lower Manhattan.
Investigators in three cities are looking into large fires at Orthodox churches that occurred around the religion's Easter celebrations and caused widespread damage.
The blazes in New York City, as well as Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, caused only minor injuries, according to multiple reports.
The New York City conflagration on Sunday at the Trinity Chapel Complex that was host to the Serbian Orthodox Church in Manhattan produced dramatic images of flames shooting through windows that filled social media.
Australia’s second oldest Greek Orthodox church has been saved, but a Macedonian Orthodox church burned.