for buy propecia our drug store

Black Church in Mississippi Burned and Vandalized With Pro-Trump Message

church interior blur abstract backgroundHopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi was set on fire and vandalized with a political message on Tuesday night.

Firefighters responded to the scene just after 9 p.m., and Fire Chief Ruben Brown reported that the conflagration took nearly an hour to extinguish.

No injuries were reported, and the fire damage was isolated to the main sanctuary of the church; however, someone had spray-painted the message “Vote Trump” on the wall.

Hopewell is a historically black church that has been a fixture in the community for over 110 years.

“Our hearts are broken but are not angry,” said the church pastor, Carolyn Hudson, adding that “we are saddened by what has happened.”

Between the fire and the political graffiti, the residents and church members are viewing the incident as a malicious attack on the black community. Greenville Mayor Erick Simmons called it “a heinous, hateful and cowardly act” during a press conference on Wednesday.

Police Chief Delando Wilson said at the press conference that the incident was being investigated as a hate crime.

“We feel that the quote that was placed on the church was basically, it’s an intimidation of someone’s right to vote whatever way they choose to vote,” he said. “So that would be definitely considered a hate crime.”

Though Wilson reported that he could not identify the crime as being racially motivated, the pro-Trump message painted on a predominantly black church does seem racially charged to some. Since the start of his campaign, the Republican presidential candidate has been known for his offensive and marginalizing rhetoric regarding minorities. Over the past few months, he has garnered support from white nationalists and white supremacists, including the Ku Klux Klan.

Mayor Simmons noted during a phone interview on Wednesday that race relations in the city of Greenville had not worsened since Trump’s candidacy; however, he did blame Trump for escalating tensions on a national level.

The mayor said that he had visited church members after the fire.

“I talked to folks who were fearful. I talk to people who were intimidated. I talk to people who, quite frankly, were saddened and crying last night. This should not happen in 2016. It happened in the 50s. It happened in the 60s. But we’re in 2016.”

Fire and smoke damage to a residential home typically costs up to $4,172 to repair; the cost to a church sanctuary may be even higher. To raise the money, the church has set up a GoFundMe page, which can be reached here.

Click here to comment on this article on our Facebook page.