California church defaced in hate crime

A Buena Park church was found spray painted with Nazi symbols on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. (Photo via NBC News)

A church has been vandalized in Orange County in the US state of California in what police authorities describe as a hate crime.

The Korean Presbyterian church in Buena Park was defaced with swastikas and German-writing early Saturday morning, police said.

According to members of the True Light Christian Church, the phrase “my honor” was written in German with the word “Jerve,” and other messages like “Toxic Love” covered parts of the building.

“That’s just not a pretty sight to see,” said church member Peter Lee.

Police believe “the nature of the vandalism and the proximity to the church” might make the incident a hate crime.

“We’re investigating all possible aspects of the case,” Sgt. Mike Lovchik said.

So far, no suspect has been identified, but police said they will continue their investigation.

There has been an increase in hate crimes since Republican Donald Trump won the presidency in the November 8 election.

In the course of his campaign, Trump made several controversial remarks, including a call to ban all Muslims from coming to the US as well as stopping migrants by building a wall along the US-Mexico border.

During the first 10 days after Trump’s election, almost 900 instances of hate crimes happened across the US, with Michigan reporting the highest number of all the Midwestern states, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found.

Last Monday, a female transit employee, Soha Salama, was pushed down the stairs at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, New York City. She was taken to hospital due to knee and ankle injuries.

The incident came two days after Aml Elsokary, an off-duty police officer, suffered a hate crime in Brooklyn. The hijab-wearing officer was out with her 16-year-old son when she was harassed by a man.

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