NYC: Bright red painted Russian Orthodox Church
A Russian Orthodox church in New York appears to have been stripped of its red paint, following a similar incident in which the Russian consulate was vandalized with red spray paint.
Two sabotage incidents occurred after Russian President Putin announced the first stage of the annexation process regions of Ukraine.
A witness told CNN that they saw a masked person splash red paint on the steps of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas on New York’s Upper East Side on Friday night.
A spokesman for the church, Abbot Nicodemus, also confirmed the vandalism to CNN.
Remnants of the paint could be seen Saturday morning, after witnesses observed a woman working to scrub it.
“We sincerely do not understand individuals who allow themselves to commit acts of vandalism related to our cathedral. We pray for them,” Nicodemus told CNN. “We want them to realize that the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States performs important spiritual and peace-building activities here, and we are open to everyone, regardless of nationality and faith. their political beliefs.”
The New York Police Department said it was not aware of the incident.
The NYPD previously told CNN it was investigating the red graffiti on the Russian consulate building as a “probable bias incident.” There are no updates on that investigation.
A spokesperson told CNN that Friday’s incident was the third instance of vandalism since the start of the year in which the church was marked with paint or written with “offensive” words.
Additionally, the church has received “offensive” calls and emails, Nicodemus said, adding that some include direct threats against clergy and parishioners.
The Church of Saint Nicholas said it was “forced to pass on such messages to the police,” Nicodemus said. “We are grateful to New York law enforcement agencies for their prompt response to our messages and their ongoing support.”
The church said that since February, its parishioners have been actively involved in donating financial and humanitarian support to victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine.
Half of the church’s parishioners are Ukrainians, says Nicodemus