3 Columbus churches vandalized with graffiti overnight
Posted: Aug 31, 2014 3:26 PM PDTUpdated: Aug 31, 2014 9:24 PM PDT
COLUMBUS, Ind. –Columbus Police said they’ve never had anything like it – three churches vandalized in the same night.
Someone spray painted them on the outside. It’s the words used, though, that have some people asking if this was more than a prank.
“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!’” Father Doug Marcotte said of what was spray painted on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus overnight Saturday.
Parishioners saw that, along with the word “Qur’an 3:151” on their way into mass Sunday morning.
“It’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.
Specifically, that passage of the Qur’an reads: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”
Saint Bartholomew’s wasn’t the only Columbus church vandalized.
“It’s really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It’s not like we’re all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us,” asked Father Marcotte.
Outside East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ, members there found the same kind of graffiti Sunday morning.
“Is there somebody that really believes this that we’re all infidels so they felt the need to write it all over our church? “ asked Father Marcote. “Is this some sort of nasty prank? Is this someone that’s trying to incite people against Muslims? I mean I don’t know,” he added.
Columbus Police said they’re looking at surveillance video to help figure it out.
Until they do though, parishioners at Saint Bartholomew’s have been unsettled by the defacing of their church, at the very least.
“There’s a lot of bad stuff being done in the name of Allah and so when people see this happening in Columbus, whether that was truly the person’s intent or there’s something else going on, It makes people nervous. It makes people upset. It makes them scared,” said Father Marcotte.
Columbus police would not comment on whether they had alerted federal authorities to the vandalism because of its nature. The priests at Saint Bartholomew’s said they’ve been contacted by members of the local Muslim community in Columbus who have condemned the vandalism and offered to help clean it up.