The Vietnamese Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was a “total loss” after being burned during Black Lives Matter protests and riots on Tuesday night, according to news reports and video footage released Wednesday.
The Baptist Press (via Kentucky Today) reported:
PHILADELPHIA (BP) – The building of Vietnam Baptist Church in Philadelphia was burned Tuesday night during the second night of unrest in the city after the police shooting of a Black man Monday.
Pastor Philip Pham received a call Tuesday night from a church member whose friend had seen the flames and seven fire trucks surrounding the church.
“I have no idea why they attacked our church,” Pham said. “They burned it from the roof. They threw flammable chemicals on the roof and [flames] burned through the roof” and down through the rest of the building. He said the facility is a “total loss.”
Of primary concern to Pham were three hard drives. Since before purchasing the building in 2005, Vietnam Baptist Church has served as something of a community center each weekday, providing help with immigration paperwork, taxes and even marriage counseling.
Despite sporadic violence on Wednesday night, the city was calmer after the imposition of a curfew.
However, there was unrest in Washington, DC, where several officers were injured in an attack involving fireworks. There were also other clashes between protesters and police. The protests there were over the death of a man named Karon Hylton, who was killed on a moped during a police chase after he collided with a vehicle last Friday.
The latest demonstrations were sparked by the shooting death Monday of a black man, Walter Wallace, Jr., who brandished a knife in a confrontation with police.
Other religious buildings have been attacked, burned, or vandalized during Black Lives Matter protests — including St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, where President Donald Trump famously held up a Bible the following day.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.