Man accused of setting fire to northern Idaho church

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho (AP) — A northern Idaho man has been accused of setting fire in a Catholic Church in Bonners Ferry.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the 33-year-old man was arrested Thursday after a federal grand jury indicted him for destruction of religious property and using fire to damage or destroy religious property.

St. Ann’s Catholic Church was destroyed in an April blaze.

The arson is being prosecuted under the Church Arson Prevention Act, a 1996 law passed in response to numerous fires set at black churches in the south.

Rev. Carlos Perez says St. Ann’s congregation of about 150 families is currently meeting in three trailers pushed together. The church received $1.8 million from its insurance policy but is raising funds to cover the rest of the estimated $2.5 million cost to rebuild.