The confrontation between the trio and the head priest of Kreuzkirche church, Christian Behr, took place on Easter Monday, when the church's bells were rung as usual at 4.55 pm to summon the congregation to prayer.
Some of the 7,000 Pegida members gathered in the town's Altmarkt square didn't realize that this was the normal time for the bells to ring and took it as a protest against their movement by the Church.
Three of them went to the entrance of the Kreuzkirche and confronted Behr, whose attempts to explain the belfry schedule fell on deaf ears as the three angrily vented their grievances.
“This has to have consequences,” Behr told the Frankfurter Rundschau, adding that the threat of violence has increased in the city in recent months.
“Because of all these Pegida demonstrations [threats of violence] have become commonplace,” he added, saying that he had also received threatening emails.
Behr said that Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann should distance himself from the violent words at his next appearance – a meeting on Monday where Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is expected to draw up to 30,000 people.
“I can only hope that the perpetrators will get an appropriate punishment for their behaviour,” state bishop Jochen Bohl said.
The bishop added that the atmosphere in the city had changed noticeably in recent weeks, and that he was shocked that people were being attacked or insulted for their appearance or language.
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