The Kiihtelysvaara Church was built between 1769-1770. Picture: Screen capture from Youtube (Jani Luopakka)

The police has caught four persons suspected of arson of Kiihtelysvaara Church, in Joensuu, eastern Finland during the night between Saturday and Sunday.

When the police arrived at the scene, the fire department said that the wooden church, which was built between 1769-1770, will burn to the ground. There was not much to do but one of the employees of the church who arrived hurriedly at the scene was able to save a few artifacts: a large altarpiece, sacred vessels and the drapery that cover the frontal of the altar.

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After the ruins had cooled down on Monday morning, the arson dogs were let out to work.

During the investigations, they sniffed and marked spots that indicated inflammable fluids. Samples were taken and sent to the laboratory for further examinations.

Later on Monday, the police conducted several house searches in Joensuu region. Four people were caught; they are all from Joensuu. The police said that during this stage of investigations they can’t reveal the age, gender of the suspects or where they were caught.

The congregation of Joensuu has received support from all over the country.

One of the support messages arrived from Ylivieska, Northern Ostrobothnia, where a similar wooden church was burnt down by a local man in March 2016.