by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Hundreds of people attended a prayer vigil at a Catholic church in New York City’s Brooklyn Friday night, after a vandal entered the church grounds the night before and smashed a statue of Jesus that was there. Police are investigating what is believed to be a hate crime against the St. Athanasius Church, in which the perpetrator also burned the church’s American flag.
In a Facebook post about the prayer vigil, St. Athanasius Church said: “On such a short notice we all came together to show how strong our Faith is! What an amazing crowd! We are one community! We are one family! We love each other!”
According to the police the crime was committed at around 10pm on Thursday night, the New York Post reports. The vandal knocked over the statue, which broke, and set fire to the US flag outside the rectory.
Informing parishioners about the incident, the church said: “We are deeply saddened to inform you that the Cross on our Church property was vandalized last night. This exhibition of violence and religious hatred is very disturbing. This is definitely an offensive act not only to our Parish but to the Catholic Church!”
The church’s pastor, Msgr. David Cassato, added in a diocese statement: “This was truly an act of hatred, and today is the saddest day of my twenty years here at this parish.”
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