Four predominantly black churches in the Suffolk, New York area were defaced with satanic images and slogans on Sunday, leading pastors to hold exorcisms in what is seen as a spiritual battle between good and evil.
“The blood of Jesus covers this house! No distress, no fear, to this family!” shouted Amityville Full Gospel’s pastor, William Walker, 48, as he placed his hands on the doors of Shaw Temple AME Zion Church, where a pentagram had been removed. “Bless this house, no sign of evil will stop the Word of God. Hail Jesus, hail Jesus, hail Jesus!”
“Hail Satan” and demonic symbols like an inverted pentagram were painted on the outside the Shaw Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, Gospel Church, Amityville Full Gospel Tabernacle, and Prayer Tabernacle Church of God in Christ between Friday and Sunday.
“It’s very upsetting that someone would desecrate a house of God,” said Deacon Alton Lamont, who has worked at the Amityville Full Gospel Tabernacle for four years.
“We are disturbed by this. It is disrespectful,” said Detective Lt. Bob Donohue of the Suffolk County Police Department. “I am asking [the pastors] to speak to their parishioners, find out if anyone sees or heard anything on social media.”
Last week, police in Nassau County found demonic imagery and phrases spray-painted on the New Covenant Church in East Meadow, but the upside-down crosses scrawled on that church do not match the graffiti in North Amityville, cops said, reported the New York Post.
“If somebody came and painted up your house with satanic symbols I think you’d be disturbed too,” Pastor Rob Taormina of New Covenant Church told WCBS. “You don’t know who they are or if they would come back.”
Police are considering the four instances as hate crimes, NBC New York reported.
George Richardson, 81, of Shaw Temple A.M.E. Zion, said he’s just giving it all to God.
“It is a shame this is what the world is coming to. We need more prayer,” Richardson said.