Hateful Words Painted on Church in the Poconos

CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Hateful words and symbols were spray-painted on a church in the Poconos, and now, state police are trying to figure out who did it.

Obscene messages and satanic symbols were spray-painted in bright blue on the side of St. John's Lutheran Church near Effort.

Laurie Everett lives in the neighborhood and noticed the graffiti around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

"Well, it was awful, and it shocked me at first. 20 years I've been here and never any kind of problems, vandalism, or anything like that," Everett said.

State police say the vandalism happened sometime overnight.

Norm Harris is the church council president. What stuck out to him was the German phrase spray-painted on the lower left corner of the building.

It reads, "work will set you free," a saying that was used by Nazis at the entrance to concentration camps.

Harris calls the whole situation sad.

"We feel sorry for them. If they have to do this then I feel sorry for someone like that," Harris said.

Neighbors tell Newswatch 16 this isn't the first act of vandalism towards a building in this neighborhood. Not too long ago, Effort United Methodist Church also had an incident.

"The church next door had a rock thrown through the window," Harris said.

"People don't have better things to do with their time, apparently. It's very sad," Everett added.

Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact state police at the Fern Ridge barracks.

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