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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Burnt Cross Near Black Family's House Allegedly a Hate Crime (USA)

 Religious leaders in a Southern California county are sounding off against the recent burning of an 11-foot cross in a city that hasn’t had a hate crime reported since 2002.

In a letter published Wednesday in the San Luis Obispo Tribune, members of the San Luis Obispo Ministerial Association made clear that the burning crosses, etching of swastikas on synagogue walls, and writing of hateful words on mosque doors are acts that should not be tolerated.

“[They] are not pranks,” stated the letter’s 35 signers, representing a number of different faith groups, including Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, and Buddhists, among others.

“They are hate crimes meant to frighten and intimidate. They should have no place in this beautiful county, but they do sometimes happen here. When they do, they cannot be tolerated or laughed off as ‘just a joke,’” the religious leaders added.

The letter was published just days after authorities in Arroyo Grande, Calif., responded to a report of fire outside the residence of a black teenager. According to the city’s police department, the object found burning early Saturday morning was later identified as a cross that had been stolen from the grounds of Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Arroyo Grande sometime between Feb. 5 and March 5. The members of the church were not aware of the theft for about one month.

“The Arroyo Grande Police Department is pursuing the investigation of the incident on South Elm Street as an arson and a hate crime,” the department reported Monday.

The Christian Post