Sometime on Saturday night, vandals attacked three Christian houses of worship in Columbus, Indiana, spray-painting the word “infidels” and citations of verses from the Koran on the outer walls.
St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, Lakeview Church of Christ, and East Columbus Christian Church all had the word “infidels” spray-painted on them, in places of prominence to be seen by worshipers.
Cited in the Indianapolis Star, Columbus police spokesperson Matt Harris said that church employees discovered the vandalism when they arrived to prepare for Sunday services.
At St. Bartholomew, the words “Qur’an 3:151” were also left.
That verse reads:
We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.
Speaking to WTHR, Channel 13, the Columbus NBC affiliate, associate pastor Father Doug Marcotte said, “It is certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire.”
There was no Koran verse painted on the Lakeview Church but “Qu’ran 19:88” was left on East Columbus Christian Church.
That verse begins a phrase, which, in its entirety (19:88 to 93), says:
None will have the power of intercession save he who has received a promise from the Gracious God. And they say, “The Gracious God has taken unto Himself a son.” Assuredly, you have done a most monstrous thing. The heavens might well-nigh burst thereat, and the earth cleave asunder, and the mountains fall down in pieces. Because they ascribe a son to the Gracious God. Whereas it becomes not the Gracious God to take unto Himself a son.
Said Father Marcotte, “Is there somebody that really believes this, that we’re all infidels, so they felt the need to write it all over our church? Is this some sort of a nasty prank? Is this someone that’s trying to incite people against Muslims? I mean, I don’t know.”
Quoted by Fox59.com, Columbus resident Nassim Khaled, who volunteers at the local Islamic Center, said, “We condemn this, and I read the verse, most importantly what it showed me is the ignorance, who actually misquoted or misinterpreted the Koran.”
According to WTHR, Columbus police wouldn’t comment on whether federal authorities had been contacted, but at least one of the churches has surveillance video that may offer clues.