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Pastor Speaks Out After Church's Three Crosses Burned in Possible Hate Crime

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Law enforcement officials in Los Angeles are investigating a possible hate crime at a church in Sylmar, California, where three wooden crosses were set ablaze.

The act of vandalism occurred around 5 a.m. Thursday at Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church, CBS News reported.

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“Because it’s at a church — on church property — it’s something that we always try to rule out,” Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Stephen Phillips told the news outlet. “So we notify our House of Worship Task Force, which consists of the LAFD, LAPD, ATF, and FBI.”

Authorities said it appeared the three crosses, situated in front of the church building, were doused in lighter fluid before being set on fire.

In a statement, officers with the LAFD “found the flames to be out … and only smoldering wood remained” when they arrived at the church property.

The pastor, Pierre Howard, called the crime “a shame.”

“We have a diverse community,” he explained. “We have Hispanic, we have black, we have white, we have come as you are, we don’t really care. … I think it’s a hate crime of someone who hates God.”

Despite the supposed attack, Howard said the congregation will not be deterred.

“We’re going to put those three crosses back up,” the pastor said. “We’re moving forward.”

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About The Author

Tré Goins-Phillips Headshot

Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church