'Jews Killed Jesus' Church Hit With Swastika Graffiti

Pastor Of Lovingway Church Resigns After Creating Furor

A Denver church that displayed a sign, "Jews killed the Lord Jesus," last month was the second religious building hit with swastika graffiti.

Congregants at the Lovingway United Pentecostal Church discovered two spray-painted swastikas on a sign Sunday. The vandalism occurred just one day after several swastikas were found on a Denver synagogue.

The discovery followed the resignation the previous night of the church's longtime pastor, who stepped down after creating a furor Feb. 26 with the marquee.

The Rev. Maurice Gordon, 73, met with about 40 church members Saturday to apologize and resign. Gordon said the sign was meant to get people to read the Bible, but it drew protests from several groups and members of the church.

Assistant Pastor David Wasserburger said he believes the graffiti is related to the recent controversy.

"There's a lot of people out there who have a lot of hatred in their hearts," he said.

The vandalism occurred a day after 10 swastikas and Nazi symbols were spray-painted on the outside of the BMH-BJ Congregation synagogue. More than 350 people, from many different faiths, came to the synagogue Sunday morning to denounce the hateful messages and scrub the building clean.

Investigators do not know whether the two incidents are related. Police have no suspects.

Rabbi Daniel Cohen of the BMH-BJ Congregation called the act of vandalism at Lovingway "terrible."

"We condemn any act of hatred against people of any faith," Cohen said. "We as a community need to stand together, celebrating what unites us, not what divides us."

The Anti-Defamation League condemned the painting of swastikas on the Lovingway Church sign.

"Coming on the heels of the painting of swastikas on the BMH-BJ synagogue this past weekend, we stand with our fellow Coloradans in unanimously rejecting this message of hate. Such hateful symbols are intolerable in our community, wherever they appear and against whomever they are directed," said ADL Regional Director Bruce H. DeBoskey.

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