Church vandalised with ‘sickening’ homophobic graffiti, Nazi swastikas and satanic messages
A church in North Carolina has been vandalised with homophobic graffiti and Nazi swastikas in a suspected hate crime.
Johnsonville Church of God, which is based in Harnett County, was vandalised at some stage on Wednesday (June 10) according to pastor James Derek Howard.
He shared photos of the church in a Facebook post and wrote: “We are praying for whoever did this to our little church, and we forgive you!”
The vandals spray painted a series of offensive messages on, including two swastikas and other abusive messages.
Vandals spray painted homophobic slurs and abusive messages onto North Carolina church.
One message spray painted onto the wall of the church reads: “F**k you gay boi.”
The word “gay” was also spray painted onto a door, while the phrase “hail Satan” was also spray painted onto a surface.
On another wall, vandals wrote “BLM”, referring to Black Lives Matter, “f**k God”, “Get cancer” and “suck my a*s”.
Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said they do not suspect the vandalism is in any way linked to Black Lives Matter protests.
No pastor wants to get that call, that your church has been vandalised.
Howard said the act of vandalism was a sign to the community to “keep loving” and urged anyone with information to contact the local police department.
He told WRAL: “It’s kind of really crazy because we know it’s nobody we know.
“Because they would know we are a multicultural church, and so it’s sad.”
Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.
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“It was disheartening at first when you get that call,” Howard added.
“No pastor wants to get that call, that you church has been vandalised.”
Sheriff Coats said of the vandalism: “It sickens my stomach. It certainly looks like a hate crime.”
Sadly, there is no surveillance footage of the incident – which means finding the culprits could be difficult.
In an update posted to Facebook, Howard said the church had been “overwhelmed” by support from the public and said a contractor has donated his time to paint over the vandalism.