Two churches in San Antonio, Texas were vandalized with words that reports say could be a response to comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during Sunday’s debate.
The walls of Gethsemane Lutheran Church and Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Church were vandalized with the words “Islam or die” and “no to wall” spray painted in bold, black letters, according to San Antonio Express News.
Some kind of symbol was found below the words, but the meaning of the symbol is uncertain.
Members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church saw the marks Monday morning near the facility’s entrance.
“This is something else. They did put some time into this,” Eric Miletti, pastor of the church, told San Antonio Express News.
Miletti said the graffiti could have been a response to remarks made by Trump, who has repeatedly emphasized the need to strengthen the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and to have better restrictions on Muslims entering the country.
Trump, in response to a woman asking about Islamophobia during the second presidential debate on Sunday, said that Muslims who come in must “report when they see something going on.” He admitted that Islamophobia was a “shame” but said that “whether we like it or not, there is a problem.” He once advocated for a “Muslim ban.”
Miletti was perplexed as to why the vandals would write their message on his church when they have no ministry for immigrants, and the church has no sizeable immigrant attendees.
Miletti had been a pastor at the church for two years. Before pastoring Gethsemane church, he served a church in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Gethsemane church member Anthony Boulan said he felt “hurt” when he read the graffiti.
“When I actually read what it said, it kinda hurt, you know?” Boulan told Fox San Antonio. “I didn’t understand what the wall had to do with the ‘Islam or die,’ but evidently whoever put it there had some kind of statement to make.”
The marks on the two churches had been removed, while police are still investigating the case.
Miletti urged everyone to pray for peace.
“We need to pray for peace, we need to talk about peace, and we need to help everyone,” he told Fox San Antonio.
This is not the first time vandals have attacked places of worship. Two Jewish synagogues were attacked last year, with the vandals spray painting the property with swastikas, curse words and the letters “KKK,” according to Breitbart.