The St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and the Mosque of Islamic Foundation North that are located near each other in Waukegan, IL were vandalized sometime on Sunday night, their religious leaders announced Tuesday.
Both religious buildings were vandalized with the same spray-painted “hateful message” but their leaders prayed at both locations on Wednesday to show they are united against hate.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by this act of hate, against not only our faith, but against our Islamic friends. Our St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Christian Church and the Islamic Foundation North were each the targets of a hate crime. We now stand together united against hate and intolerance. Now is the time for love to conquer hate,”
“Words written on a wall cannot destroy faith that has lived in the hearts of so many for many centuries. Those who wish to spread hate will be met by love. We condemn these acts of hate against any house of faith and worship. We feel the pain of our neighbors and friends at the Islamic Foundation North. We pray that the forces of love can overcome those who perpetuate hate and intolerance.”
The leaders of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Christian Church and Islamic Foundation North spoke at a joint news conference at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to demonstrate love while “facing the hate together, ” according to a news release.
The vandalism was discovered Monday morning and reported to Waukegan police who heads the investigation.