A predominantly black church in Mississippi has been targeted in what police are calling a hate crime.
According to ChristianToday.com, an arson attack was perpetrated against Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, and the words “Vote Trump” were spray-painted on the building.
Hopewell’s pastor, Carolyn Hudson, said the incident “left our hearts broken.” Hudson added that the church has been around for 111 years.
Greenville fire chief Ruben Brown confirmed that the fire was “intentionally set.”
"Samples and evidence have been collected from inside the church and are being analysed to determine the accelerant or ignition source," he continued.
Greenville police chief Delando Wilson added that police have a suspect in custody, but no charges have yet been brought against this person.
"We feel that the quote on the church is intimidating," Wilson stated. "It tries to push your beliefs on someone else, and this is a predominantly black church and no one has a right to try to influence the way someone votes in this election."
"This act is a direct assault of people's right to freely worship," added Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons.
The incident happened exactly one week before the U.S. presidential election on November 8.
Publication date: November 3, 2016