Ethiopian church hit by vandals in Canada

Board members of an Ethiopian Christian church in Hammonds Plains, N.S., met Tuesday night after the church’s sign was cut down and stolen by vandals.

The sign outside St. Gebriel Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on Hammonds Plains Road had only been up for about six months when it was cut down with a chainsaw Monday night.

RCMP said around 10:30 p.m., several people were seen getting out of a van and used a chainsaw to cut down the sign, which they took with them. They were last seen traveling toward Bedford.

Deacon Les Zewdie said this isn’t the first act of vandalism his church has seen.

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Deacon Les Zewdie, pictured here with the church’s priest, says the sign had been painted over twice before Monday’s theft. CBC
Twice before, some of the wording on the sign had been painted over.

“Whoever did it makes us upset and then we just did it, redone it again … two times they did it before. This time they took off the signage,” said Zewdie.

Cpl. Scott MacRae, who speaks for Halifax District RCMP, said it’s too early to know if the vandalism was racially motivated.

“Right now, it does look like it’s senseless vandalism and the purpose of it is what we have to find out. If it’s internal problems … internal disagreements, or maybe it is external and people for whatever reason didn’t like this sign,” said MacRae.

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Church officials hope to have the sign replaced in a few weeks, but said it will be hard to do, since most of the 20 members of the congregation are immigrants with limited funds.

They’re reaching out to the community to see if they can find any possible donors willing to help fund a new sign.

Source: cbcNews

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