LGBT-Friendly Montana Church Vandalized With Swastikas, Anti-Gay Graffiti

"Your message of hate will not intimidate or stop us."

A progressive Montana church has been hit by anti-gay vandals for a second time.

A week after someone left a stack of anti-gay pamphlets inside Grace United Methodist Church in Billings, hate-fueled graffiti appeared on and inside the building, the Billings Gazette reports.

Grace United has been a vocal advocate of LGBT issues and rights, hosting LGBT gatherings and fighting discrimination within the community.

The church hosted a public forum last Sunday to address the anti-gay pamphlets, as well as swastikas and other obscene graffiti that had recently appeared on nearby schools, homes, and cars.

Later that week, church volunteers discovered a swastika painted on the choir room door and more anti-gay literature pinned to a bulletin board. Outside, on a sign reading “Open doors, open hearts,” someone had scribbled “No gays.”

“That is a sign of some seriously dark stuff,” says Grace United pastor Sarah Beck. “We’re going to pray for those people.”

“It’s certainly an attempt at intimidation,” Beck continues. “But it’s not going to work. We’re not going to shrink away from being who we are in the community, as a congregation.”

“To whoever put these fliers on our sanctuary doors: Your message of hate will not intimidate or stop us,” the church posted on its Facebook page. “It won’t stop us on Sunday from proclaiming Christ’s Good News that God loves all God’s children and the church is a place for everyone. And it won’t stop us from praying for you—from hoping that tomorrow you will be kinder than you were today. We are a place of grace—and our hearts, our minds, and our doors stay open.

The incidents have been reported to the Billings Police Department and the FBI.

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