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Faith Leaders, Authorities Condemn Recent Vandalism of Catholic Churches in Oregon

07-24-2021
Image Credit: Unsplash/Amauri Mejia
Image Credit: Unsplash/Amauri Mejia

Police in Portland, Oregon continue to investigate multiple acts of vandalism to Catholic churches after four houses of worship were defaced in less than two months.

Earlier this month, the glass doors at the main entrance of Holy Redeemer in North Portland were spray-painted with messages and symbols, according to the Catholic Sentinel.

During an interview, Associate Pastor Michael Belinsky said he was "disappointed" to see such disgrace. 

"Mostly I was disappointed that there's no way to communicate in a direct and rational fashion," he said. "But the church has always been a lightning rod, as with any institution." 

Last month, vandals lit fires and wrote graffiti on the grounds at St. Patrick Church in Northwest Portland. Shortly after that, additional graffiti was discovered on the historic church's wooden front doors. 

A stained-glass window was broken at Northeast Portland's St. Andrew Church on June 26. Around that same time, red handprints were found on the door, columns and steps of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Southeast Portland. A group of protesters, including families with children, are reportedly responsible for the destruction. 

At least one of the incidents was allegedly carried out by a group protesting the recent discovery of unmarked graves at mostly Catholic-run schools in Canada. The others were reportedly by individuals with an overall dislike toward the church.

Father George Kuforiji of St. Francis, said he is sympathetic toward protesters' but upset over their decision to desecrate a holy place.

"Have your protest, yes, but to vandalize the church ... a community that has nothing to do with the graves, that bothered me," he told the Catholic Sentinel.

 Lt. Greg Pashley, a spokesman with the Portland Police Bureau, said "protests are a constitutional right," but damaging property is illegal.

Throughout the U.S. and Canada, there's been an uptick in vandalism to churches and religious statues this year. 

CBN News previously reported on the persistent efforts of one suspect to impose harm on the Jewish community in New York. Police believed the same vandal was responsible for throwing rocks and smashing windows at numerous synagogues in one Bronx neighborhood.

Authorities said the rash of vandalism that took place in April were hate crimes.

And an apparent ongoing anti-Christian campaign in Canada has resulted in a total of 45 churches being attacked with some of the buildings being burned to the ground. 

Terrorists primarily targeted Roman Catholic churches serving indigenous congregations. 

The crimes stem from far-left terrorists with a Marxist ideology whose sole purpose is to strike fear in Canadians for practicing their faith. 

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