A predominantly Jewish neighborhood in San Antonio has been struck with vandalism and anti-Semitic graffiti.
Residents first noticed the graffiti as they left morning prayers at an orthodox synagogue on Wednesday.
“We came out of prayer at 7 o’clock this morning and were greeted by broken car windows, and graffiti on the car saying jew, and then a swastika and all types of graffiti that were hate graffiti,” Senior Rabbi Arnold Scheinberg told Fox San Antonio.
One of the defaced items was a memorial to victims of the holocaust that was spray painted with a swastika. Synagogue officials say that over 30 vehicles and houses were damaged in some manner by the vandals.
The synagogue serves about 300 Jewish families, most of whom live in the neighborhood.
“I want to tell those who did this that you have done something destructive,” said Rabbi Scheinberg. “Your life could be much better if you could have more love than hate.”
“We’d be happy to help you find it,” he added. “If you want to learn a little bit more about the people you hate, we could arrange that, too. (You could) learn more about Jews and people of color so you don’t just hate blindly.”
A group of vandals attacked churches in North Carolina leaving one with ten thousand dollars in damage.
The first church were struck last Saturday. Bales Memorial Wesleyan Church in Jamestown, N.C. had their sign broken, windows smashed and parking signs ripped from the ground. Flower beds were destroyed and the building struck with eggs and silly string.
Messages spray painted on the church included “He hates you!”
Grace Baptist Church in Greensboro found similar damage to their facility on Sunday.
Pastor Carl Pulliam said that Bales Memorial Wesleyan suffered around $10,000 in damages. The other church said it would cost at least $300 to repair a broken window but wouldn’t say how much it would cost to repair the cosmetic damage.
“Why would someone stoop so low to vandalize a church? In a word: Sin! The prophet Jeremiah says that ‘the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things,’” Coward wrote in a post on Facebook. “Yes, it’s true that Satan opposes God and he is probably laughing about this vandalism. But God’s shows us the destructive sin nature found in all mankind—including each one of us!”
Pastor Pulliam said he’s not angry at the vandals and forgives them. Pastor Paul Coward of Grace Baptist Church agreed.
“[W]e need to listen to the words of Jesus from the sermon on the mount, ‘But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44),’” Coward stated.
Vandals defaced and destroyed crosses that were part of a pro-life display at a Pennsylvania university.
Students for Life at Clarion University played the crosses. The 350 crosses were part of a display called “Cemetery of the Innocents” and each represented 10 aborted children that day.
Overnight, a number of the crosses were pulled out of the ground and thrown in trashcans. Others were defaced with messages indicating their connection to activists against a recent Indiana religious freedom law.
The crosses were also placed in a manner that is a traditional anti-Christian placement.
“[All] 350 crosses were pulled up and re-inserted in inverted fashion, a well-known anti-Christian symbol,” the group Students for Life reported. “Additionally, red paint was splattered on crosses and signs. Even eerier was the mock bloody footprints of an infant painted in front of the display.”
“Pro-Choice” was written on the sidewalk near the mock footprints of an infant.
University police claim they are investigating the act.
“I ask that as a community of educators and students, we come together and reflect upon our commitment to our rights and responsibilities of expression,” university President Karen Whitney said in a statement. “I ask that we use dialogue and discussion to engage very differing viewpoints in ways that leave all of us better for the experience.”
The display has since been restored.
A group of anti-Semitic vandals attacked the car of a Dallas area rabbi.
Rabbi Yaakov Rich leads a group worshiping at his home in Dallas. The neighborhood’s Homeowners Association (HOA) tried to stop the group from having their times of worship and tried to sue the Rabbi to make him stop. A court threw out the case last month.
Last week, the city of Dallas sued him to make improvements to the home if he wants to continue to hold services.
Then he came outside Thursday to find s swastika painted on his car.
“As a Jew, the swastika is the most offensive symbol that there is. They didn’t just attack me, they attacked every Jew in the City of Dallas. I am very grateful, however, that the members of Congregation Toras Chaim are banding together to ensure that there is no disruption in our activities,” Rabbi Rich told CBS Dallas.
Justin Butterfield of the Liberty Institute told CBS Dallas that this is not the first time the group has faced vandalism.
“In orthodox Jewish homes, there is a little box on the doorway with a scroll on it with a scripture on it, and in the past, somebody had ripped that off of the doorway. They’ve also had people drive in front of the home screaming obscenities at them,” said Butterfield.
A Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem was burned Thursday and anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed on a nearby wall.
Police in the area say it’s clearly a hate crime.
The bathroom and corridor of Dormition Abbey was set on fire around 3 a.m. by unknown assailants. As firefighters extinguished the flames, they saw the crudely written graffiti mocking Jesus Christ.
A court has issued a gag-order for most of the details of the crime but a witness shared what they saw about the attack.
“Two people who were hiding their faces came from the east side of the structure near the cemetery and the Catholic church,” he said. “From there they threw flammable liquid at the seminary’s bathroom.”
Israeli President Reuvin Rivlin was outraged by the attack.
“It is inconceivable that an act like this could happen in a house of prayer,” Rivlin said in a statement.
“This is a heinous crime, there must be an investigation and those responsible must be brought to justice. Such criminals not only threaten to set fire to places of worship holy to all of us, but ignite the regional powder keg upon which we all sit.”
A Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, France was vandalized over the weekend with more than 300 graves defaced by at least 5 teenagers.
Police say that five teens between 15 and 17 are in custody after the youngest of the group turned themselves into authorities and admitted the crime. The teen is denying there was an anti-Semitic motive despite their targeting a Jewish cemetery.
In addition to knocking over or destroying over 300 tombstones, the teens destroyed a monument to Holocaust victims.
While the youngest perpetrator claims there was no anti-Semitic motive to the crime, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the actions “a vile, anti-Semitic act, and insult to the memory of the dead.”
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the actions of the teens were an “odious act against religious freedom and intolerance.”
A Massachusetts woman is under arrest after she vandalized a church and then tried to attack police with a metal crucifix in the same place a church’s nativity scene was vandalized.
The crucifix had been donated after a nearby church was vandalized when a baby Jesus was stolen from their nativity scene and replaced with a severed pig’s head.
Amarellis Cermeno of Haverhill, 54, was arrested on charges including “assault with a deadly weapon, malicious destruction of property and destruction of a place of worship.”
Police were called to La Iglesia Biblica Bautista around 3 p.m. Tuesday after someone had written “666” in large numbers in 15 different places on the church building. Police found Cermeno nearby carrying a large metal crucifix that she used to attack police.
She is being held without bail. She is undergoing mental health evaluations.
A Massachusetts church was in shock Christmas Day to find that someone had stolen the baby Jesus from their nativity scene and replaced it with the severed head of a pig.
Police say that the vandals struck the nativity scene outside Scared Hearts Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts during the early morning hours of Christmas.
Police are investigating the incident on what they called a “busy, well lit street.”
Brenda Burns, a resident of Haverhill, took the baby Jesus from her family’s nativity scene and went to the church to replace the stolen one.
In addition to the stolen Jesus in Haverhill, a second Jesus was stolen in nearby Greenfield. That baby Jesus was imported from Italy and worth over $3,000. The thieves also caused significant damage to the manger in the display.
An admitted Satanist drove his vehicle into the Ten Commandments monument outside the Oklahoma state house, breaking it into pieces.
Michael Reed, Jr., says that Satan told him to destroy the monument and then urinate on it.
Reed destroyed the monument on Thursday and then walked into the Oklahoma City Federal Building on Friday stating that he was going to kill President Obama. He was taken into custody by the Secret Service for the threats.
Reed reportedly was placed into a mental hospital and is being indefinitely detained.
The ACLU, which had been actively trying to remove the monument, issued a condemnation of the action while still attacking Christians and those who support the monument.
“The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism,” it stated. “Our Oklahoma and federal Constitutions seek to create a society in which people of all faiths and those of no faith at all can coexist as equals without fear of repressions from the government or their neighbors. Whether it is politicians using religion as a political tool or vandals desecrating religious symbols, neither are living up to the full promise of our founding documents.”
Several elected leaders, including Governor Mary Fallin, have said they will pay money from their own pockets to rebuild the monument.
The Jewish fraternity at Emory University holding their Yom Kippur holiday events when someone spray painted Nazi emblems on their home.
Yom Kippur is one of the most holy days in Judiasm, a time when Jews fast and focus on repentance for their sins over the past year.
“We are outraged at the insensitive display of prejudice that occurred at the Alpha Epsilon Pi house at Emory University. We are working alongside Emory to ensure that intolerable acts of hate, such as this, will never occur again. We are thankful for the community around us that has shown tremendous support throughout this time,” the fraternity told Business Insider.
Police are investigating the incident and have increased patrols around the area of the fraternity in case the assailants choose to come back for a second attack.
Emory University President James Wagner e-mailed students and faculty condemning the event.
“On behalf of our community, I denounce this abhorrent act. It is an offense against a Jewish fraternity and the Jewish members of our community, and it is a repugnant, flagrant emblem of anti-Semitism. It is also an offense against the entire university. Among the many pernicious things the swastika symbolizes, in the last century it represented the most egregious and determined undermining of intellectual freedom and truth-seeking. In short, its appearance on our campus is an attack against everything for which Emory stands,” he wrote.