Church burning is purposely damaging or destroying churches through arson. The activity is closely associated with anti-Christianity, most infamously in Scandinavia. Scandinavian nations saw repeated incidents linked to black metal in the 1990s. The most infamous offender was Varg Vikernes, who was also convicted of murdering a fellow musician.
Large-scale church burnings have been common at various times throughout history. Some examples are listed below;
- Leaders such as King Nebuchadnezzar II burned down synagogues and any other theistic temple.
- Radical Jews are known to have burned Christian Churches down shortly after the year 0.
- The Roman Empire burned down the Holy Temple in 70 A.D.
- War criminals such as Attila the Hun during the Dark Ages.
- Churches were destroyed during the Black Death due to the fear of disease.
- Europeans destroyed the worship locations of the Native Americans in the United States.
- During the colonization of Africa, temples and mosques were either destroyed or remade into another structure.
- The Ku Klux Klan burned down African-American churches, Catholic and Orthodox churches, synagogues, and mosques.
- In many African countries, Christian churches are burned down by Islamic extremists.
- Jewish synagogues as well as Catholic and Orthodox churches in Eastern Europe were burned down by Nazis during World War II, particularly during the Kristallnacht pogrom.