“Eight Chapels Bombed in Chile,” Ensign, Sept. 1985, 79
Six Latter-day Saint chapels in Chile were bombed July 4, and bombings were attempted at two more in what was apparently an anti-United States protest. There was no major structural damage to any of the buildings, and no one was injured.
Except for a chapel that had not yet been completed, members continued meeting in the buildings, said Erastus Trujillo, area physical facilities manager for Chile. Damage to the buildings consisted largely of broken glass and doors and marred paint, with some interior partitions damaged in one of them.
Five of the chapels were located in the Santiago area; two in Coronel and Lota, about 350 kilometers south of Santiago; and one in Antofagasta, about 1,500 kilometers north.
The bombings occurred the night of July 4, celebrated as Independence Day in the United States.
The Church has approximately 175,000 members in Chile. Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the First Quorum of the Seventy, President of the Church’s South America South Area, worked with regional representatives and other Church leaders in the area to prepare a press release distributed to newspapers four days after they printed police reports of the bombings. The release reiterated that the Church is “an international Church, without affiliation to any nation or country, whose purpose is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Many civic leaders have expressed their sorrow about the incidents to Church members. Coincidentally, two articles favorable to the Church were published in Chile that weekend, one in a Santiago newspaper and another in a magazine for microfilm users and processors, focusing on the Church’s genealogical efforts.