Pilsen Church Vandalized With Hate Speech, Swastika After Anti-Deportation Speech

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Mar 30, 2016 1:46PM

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Photo of some of the vandalism, via Emma Lozano

A Pilsen church was vandalized with disturbing graffiti sometime overnight Tuesday, including the words "rape Mexico" and the image of a Nazi swastika.

The graffiti was made on the front door of the church, located at 2242 S. Damen Ave., according to Pastor Emma Lozano, who wrote about the vandalism on Facebook Tuesday night. Lozano said the vandalism may have been in response to coverage of Rev. Jesse Jackson's Easter sermon at the Lincoln United Methodist Church, during which he told its mostly Latino congregation that they should embrace immigrant families and those facing deportation. She also blamed racism at Donald Trump and Ted Cruz rallies for emboldening racist people to hurt communities of color.

"I know we think that these 'white power' advocates are only in other communities, but we should be aware that the wave of racism across the nation, evident in large crowds at Trump and Cruz rallies, is emboldening those who would carry out acts of terror to sneak int our communities under the cover of darkness," Lozano said in a statement. "Some group has determined to send us a message. Of course, we will in no way be intimidated—but we will inform our community and we will remain alert."

In a separate Facebook post Tuesday night written in Spanish, Lozano questioned the motives of the vandals.

"For those who call themselves Christians and evangelicals and are voting for Trump and Cruz, remember that Jesus was a refugee and migrant and a Christian can not praise Jesus on Sunday morning and build a wall and call for deportation on Monday," she wrote. "We will fight [for the vandalism] to not divide our families. We will March on May 1st.""