At least 3 Arlington churches demanding social justice targeted by vandals, police say

Police say at least three Arlington churches have been vandalized in just the past two months. The churches represent different denominations and they’re not all that close together, but there is one common thread – all three have posted signs demanding racial justice.

“I think often the perception is – Arlington, Virginia, this isn’t an issue, racism isn’t an issue, but it’s an issue everywhere,” explained Kathy Dwyer, the senior pastor at Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ, where back in June, a Black Lives Matter banner was a target. Someone cut out the word “Black,” leaving behind only “Lives Matter.”

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The website Arlington Now previously reported the three incidents.

One occurred Monday afternoon at St. George’s Episcopal Church, where someone spray painted over a Black Lives Matter banner. Another happened in July at Clarendon United Methodist Church, where someone vandalized a large sign by writing “White Lives Matter” and “It’s OK to be white,” according to police.

Investigators said there’s no suspect information in two of the cases, however, in the St. George’s case from Monday, they said they’re looking for an Asian man between 50 and 65 years old.

All three churches still have racial justice signs posted out front, despite the vandalism. Pastor Dwyer said her church has even added two more Black Lives Matter signs, adding that she believes it’s incredibly important for the community to work together towards racial justice for all.

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“When we have breast cancer awareness month and everybody’s talking about how breast cancer matters, no one says well what about this kind of cancer and what about Alzheimer’s disease. It helps put a spotlight on something that needs attention,” Dwyer said.

If you know anything about the incidents, you’re asked to please call Arlington County Police.