Would destroying a pagan temple and it's statues be a sin?

[And I’m talking about destroying the temple and the statues, and not harming the people.]

I’m not planning on doing anything like that! This is all hypothetical!
I’m just wondering, because God hates idols and false gods. I know it has been done in the past!

Or do we “compromise” and turn the pagan temple into a God-worshipping temple?

Thoughts? :S

Yes, because one would be destroying something held sacred by someone else. Who are we to infringe on other people’s religions?

We evangelize to the people and when they have converted to the true God, THEY will be the ones to make decisions about their ‘former’ temple and statues, etc.

But historically hasn’t the Church done this? It is my understanding the many Catholic Churches now stand on top of what were once pagan temples.

But was this done against the will of the people, or in accord with them?

If a group of pagans (with temple) freely converted to Christianity, do you think that they might have ASKED to have a Catholic Church INSTEAD of that temple? That they might have decided (as some did) to ‘renovate’ the temple by dedicating it to the true God (and then subsequently as the building ‘decayed’, later buildings were erected ‘on top of’ the first?

Look, your own home might stand on many former dwellings. Did that mean that you destroyed the earlier ones yourself to make YOUR house? Probably not.

Historically, this has sometimes happened. Very frequently the pagan temple has been converted into a church - the Pantheon in Rome being a prime example. But to go on vacation to, say, Thailand with the idea that you’re going to destroy a Buddhist temple simply turns you into the Catholic Taliban. Not good.

There are some saints who are popular for doing this.

True. One example is St Boniface destroying the Oak of Thor. After Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire by Emperor Thedosius, many pagan temples were legally destroyed.

Saints have destroyed pagan temples and pagan statues for the love of God and the Faith – and they are our models. God hates false places of worship and idolatry and would be glad to have them wiped off the face of the earth. God bless you.

Not to freak you out, but this sounds a lot like radical Islam.

Catholics, or Christians in general, recognise God as the one and only one deity in the world who created the world under the light of the Holy Spirit. Hence, theoretically, all pagan temples are either worshiping false ‘gods’ or Satan veiled behind the statues. In defense of the truth which we understand by our faith, it is justified to destroy pagan temples and their statues.

Yet, the other factor coming into play is the respect for free will. Again, God creates liberty; every human being has his free will to choose whether to accept God and His Gospel. Destruction of pagan temples will be an infringement of others’ religious freedom and thus a disrespect to God’s creation. Moreover, from history we often learn that totalitarian acts spark hatred rather than charity - another contradiction against God.

To resolve the paradox, I think destroying a pagan temple or not is hardly to be categorized as a sinful or sinless behaviour. This dichotomy doesn’t apply in this situation; there is much grey area to be debated.

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