According to a police spokesman this week, San Diego police are looking into vandalism that happened last week at a church in the city’s Serra Mesa district as a potential hate crime.
According to police Lt. Adam Sharki, the City View Church Assemblies of God Church in Serra Mesa was vandalized on December 30 or December 31.
Spray-painted statements appeared to be directed at a pastor and praise singer who were due to perform at the church on New Year’s Eve in a number of locations around the church’s property. In defiance of COVID-19 restrictions, the pastor, Sean Feucht, organized a number of Let Us Worship outdoor gatherings during the pandemic lockdowns. According to The New York Times, former President Donald Trump praised Feucht for “unifying Americans of all denominations and backgrounds to promote faith and freedom in America.”
Vandalism by Graffiti
At the City View Church, some of the graffiti condemned bigotry and “Christian nationalism.” “Anti-fascist resistance” was mentioned in at least one communication. Some of it seemed to charge that its targets were hostile to the LGBTQ community.
The damage, which included smashed windows, was discovered by a sound team as they were leaving the church around 2:30 a.m. on December 31, according to Troy Singleterry, the lead pastor at City View.
Singleterry remarked, “I was extremely upset when I witnessed everything. I wasn’t enraged. I felt such sadness.”
Before Feucht’s New Year’s Eve concert, which would be held in his hometown of Redding, Northern California, the vandalism was discovered.
Some of the spray-painted inscriptions shown in the social media images specifically mentioned Feucht.
Singleterry reported that Feucht and his group had contacted the church and requested permission to hold their scheduled outdoor concert indoors due to anticipated rain.
Feucht posted images of the vandalism and the phrase “the adversary doing the age-old mistake” on the day it was discovered. The gospel will not be stopped by persecution; rather, it will spread like wildfire.
In a tweet sent to Mayor Todd Gloria of San Diego on Wednesday, Feucht’s team described the graffiti as “an act of hate intended to intimidate and terrorize peaceful individuals in your city” and requested a response.
Gloria’s office sent a statement from the mayor in response to a request for comment from the Union-Tribune, confirming the hate-crime inquiry. Gloria declared, “Let me be clear: Hatred has no place in San Diego, and anyone responsible for this atrocity will face consequences.
As word of the vandalism circulated on social media, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., retweeted it and added: “Hurt people hurt people. We pray that those responsible for this hate crime will one day come to know Jesus’ love.
Singleterry claimed that numerous individuals, including painters and individuals with power washers, arrived at the church that day to clean up the damage. People are removing graffiti from windows. The quantity of support was simply astounding, he remarked.
“It’s extremely significant to watch someone tamper with the home of God,” he continued.
About 1,700 people attended the event that night, according to Singleterry, and there were no issues.
The cost of the church’s damage was not known to the police according to certain lawyers in San Diego.