Vandalism forces Silverton church to shut down for weeks - KPTV - FOX 12

Vandalism forces Silverton church to shut down for weeks

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A Silverton church has been forced to shut down for weeks after vandals broke in, sprayed fire extinguishers through the inside of the building and etched troubling symbols and words on the front door.  

When someone first walks in the Silverton Community Seventh-Day Adventist Church, they may assume it’s undergoing a renovation. But that’s far from the case.

“This is all because of the vandalism,” said Jonathan Russell with the Oregon Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists.

Russell said the vandalism happened on Feb. 10. He said church leaders arrived to get ready for services, but instead found the inside of the building covered in white dust from two of the churches fire extinguishers.

“They had to cancel their services and just send everybody home,” he said.

Russell said the vandal or vandals got in the building by throwing a rock through a window.

“We don’t have any evidence that they stole anything,” he said. “They just came in to destroy, make a mess of stuff.”

Also etched in the front door was a swastika, pentagram, and the word “Satan.”

“You know, church is supposed to be a safe place,” Russell said. “In this case, somebody decided to come to deface, to destroy, to create fear in a place that should bring hope.”

Russell said the vandalism did more than just cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.

“It’s at least $50,000,” he said.

He said it has also forced people out of the church for weeks.

“The heart of what they do is come together to worship week by week, so when that’s taken away from them, it’s pretty devastating,” he said.

But even so, Russell said it won’t discourage them from what really matters.

“Whatever the intent was, we’re going to keep doing what we do here,” he said.

Russell said the church should be able to get back in this weekend.

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