A Catholic church that has served the Italian community in downtown Los Angeles since 1904 was vandalized on Monday morning in an act that is being considered a hate crime, officials said.
In photos released by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, red paint splatters and the words “LAND Back” and “USA” — which was crossed out — can be seen spray-painted in black on the front of St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church located at 1039 N. Broadway.
Police are treating the church vandalism, which happened on Indigenous Peoples Day, the day formerly observed as Columbus Day, as a hate crime, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We pray for all the people who suffer discrimination and isolation, so that they can find peace in their hearts, and we can live in harmony and peace,” the church said in a statement. “Our parish is a home of prayer and encounter, where everyone is welcome to find GOD. We forgive and look forward to having the strength to do GOD’s will.”