Paphos Bishop Georgios has urged people to help guard churches in the district following a spate of burglaries and the theft of thousands of euros worth of artefacts.
“People are exasperated; this is a provocation against everything they hold sacred,” Georgios told the Cyprus Mail.
In the past week, five churches have been hit by what the police believe to be a gang targeting churches.
The thieves have stolen various religious artefacts including icons and cash worth over €9,500.
Bishop Georgios said that no matter what the police did, it could not protect all 120 churches within the district.
Churches have become an easy target for quick money, he said.
The response the Church got from the public was a positive one and the Bishop said people were happy to help catch the thieves.
Paphos Police said the Church and police have very close relations and that the force has taken its own measures, which included stepping up patrols.
They added that the church has complete trust in the police force that has also advised the church in different ways of protecting its property.
“We support the Church’s plea for help and we urge people to contact us whenever they feel the need to, but the safety of the public and of each and every individual is the most important thing to us,” said Lefki Solomondos, a police spokeswoman