Vandals sprayed satanic graffiti on four Long Island churches in New York over Father’s Day weekend, police said Sunday.
Police are investigating the pentagrams and “hail Satan” graffiti as a hate crime, saying vandals spray painted three churches Friday and another sometime Saturday, PIX-11 reports. The four churches, Shaw Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, the Gospel Church, the Amityville Full Gospel Tabernacle, and the Prayer Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, are all within a mile of each other. All four churches removed the graffiti before Sunday services.
“They must have a vendetta,” Walter Willie, pastor of the Prayer Tabernacle church, told the New York Post. “To attack a place of healing, a place that helps people in time of great need — whoever did this has hurt in their heart.”
Three of the churches are Pentecostal, and one is predominantly black, the New York Post reported.
The churches’ pastors lead their congregations in prayer over the buildings during Sunday services.
“The blood of Jesus covers this house! No distress, no fear, to this family!” prayed William Walker, Amityville Full Gospel’s pastor. “Bless this house, no sign of evil will stop the word of God.”
While investigators consider the incident as a religious hate crime, they are also considering whether a misguided church member may have sprayed the satanic graffiti as an angry protest against the churches, a detective told the New York Post. Police are still looking for suspects.
“We are disturbed by this. It is disrespectful,” Detective Lt. Bob Donohue told the newspaper. “I am asking pastors to speak to their parishioners, and find out if anyone sees or heard anything on social media.”
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