A community leader today said vandals who trashed a nativity scene less than 24 hours after it was unveiled may be forgiven by God – but not by the city’s residents.
The baby Jesus figure from the St Nicholas church display was left smashed in two pieces in the graveyard, with two wise men and a donkey also being knocked over.
The nativity is housed in a wooden shed with two windows and the structure’s lock has been broken.
Members of Aberdeen Churches Together, councillors and city school pupils gathered at the church earlier this week for the blessing of the nativity.
Depute Provost Jennifer Stewart was at the blessing of the council-owned Christmas scene on Monday morning and slammed those behind the attack.
She said: “I think it is appalling that the nativity, which was only blessed this week, has been targeted. The wider Christian community will be disgusted by this mindless act of vandalism.
“My message to the person who did this is that God may forgive you, but the residents of Aberdeen won’t.”
Lord Provost Barney Crockett said those involved will “regret” their actions.
He said: “The unveiling of the nativity is always a great event for the city. I cannot believe somebody has done this and it is regrettable for the city.
“I am sure the council will do their best to rectify this and get a new display sorted out.
“The people responsible will eventually realise exactly what they did and live to regret it.”
A spokeswoman for St Nicholas Church does not believe there was any religious intent behind the vandalism.
She said: “I am appalled by the whole thing and I cannot understand the mentality of people who do something like this. I do not think this is anti-Christian, it is pure stupidity.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “We were appalled to discover the vandalism at the nativity scene in St Nicholas Kirkyard.
“The scene was blessed on Monday and is a hugely popular and important part of the city’s Christmas celebrations.”
Constable Andrew Howls from the city centre policing team said: “This is a thoughtless and shameful act of vandalism which has understandably caused a great deal of concern among the local community.
“Our inquiries are ongoing and anyone who has information or saw anyone in the area is asked to contact police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”