‘Hail Satan’ Spray-Painted on Va. Church

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DANVILLE, Va. — Danville police are investigating the vandalism of a century-old church.

Media outlets report that someone spray-painted an upside-down cross, several other symbols and Latin words that translate to “Hail Satan” in red on the rear outside wall of the Schoolfield Church of the Brethren.

A church member discovered the graffiti Saturday.

The church was founded in 1911 by Marion Prather. The current pastor is his great-great grandson, the Rev. Richard Berkley.

“It’s nothing we can’t paint over, but I did hate to see it,” Berkley told the Danville Register & Bee. “I don’t understand their purpose; in this country, you can believe anything you want — you don’t have to deface other peoples’ property to express your religion . I really feel sorry for whoever did this.”

Berkley’s daughter, Branwen Hall, says the church has endured through World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and the graffiti isn’t going to change the way members worship.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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