St. Peter’s Catholic Church near Chinatown was vandalized in the early hours of Oct. 11, the day celebrated as Indigenous Peoples’ Day or Columbus Day in the U.S.
Red paint was splattered across the front of the church, including on a mosaic on the church’s façade. Graffiti was painted in several parts of the parish property, including a profanity on the steps of the church, and a banner reading “Stop colonizing our land” was draped on the steps of the church.
The LAPD Major Crimes Unit is investigating the attack as a hate crime.
St. Peter’s has served local Italian Catholics since 1904, and is the national Italian parish for Southern California.
Father Fernando Cuevas, who arrived at St. Peter’s as pastor earlier this year, said he was praying in the church Monday morning when members of the Chinatown Safety Patrol alerted him about the vandalism.
“I’m praying for all the people who are suffering from discrimination and isolation, that they can find harmony and peace in the hearts,” Father Cuevas told Angelus on Monday.
“Our Church is a place of encounter where everyone is welcome. We forgive and look for the strength to do God's will.”