Jesus statue smashed, U.S. flag burned in New York City church attack

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Catholic church in Brooklyn statue toppled

Someone was out showing their tolerance and multiculturalism in Brooklyn, N.Y. last week, smashing a statue of Jesus and burning an American flag burned outside a Catholic church. Police are calling it a possible hate crime.

The New York Post reports that at around 10 p.m. on May 13 an unknown person climbed over the fence at St. Athanasius Church on Bay Parkway at 61st Street in Bensonhurst, police said, adding that the intruder knocked over a statue of Jesus’s crucifixion and broke it into pieces and also set fire to an American flag that was displayed outside the rectory.

The church’s pastor, Msgr. David Cassato, discovered the vandalism at around 8 a.m. on May 14 and reported it to the NYPD, the Diocese of Brooklyn said in a statement.

The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating.

“This was truly an act of hatred, and today is the saddest day of my twenty years here at this parish,” Cassato said in a statement to the diocese.

The crucifix had been installed in 2010 to honor the memory of Cassato’s mother, the statement explained.

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