A Portland, Oregon, campus of Mars Hill Church was recently vandalized by a group of homosexual activists. The group smashed nine windows with rocks, including two stained glass windows that were over 100 years old. Normally vandalism like this is anonymous, but this vandalism was meant to send a message. The vandals actually sent an email to a local TV station claiming responsibility for the vandalism and stating that they vandalized the church because “Mars Hill is notoriously anti-gay and anti-woman.” But there is nothing unusual about Mars Hill’s view on homosexual behavior and the church even holds itself out as simply believing what the Bible says about homosexuality.
This campus of Mars Hill church has been targeted before by radical advocates of homosexual behavior. In October, 2011, the Oregonian reported that “black-clad demonstrators” gathered to protest the church’s stance on homosexual behavior. The protestors shouted obscenities at church-goers. As the paper reported, One woman yelled at worshippers as they left, saying: “Shame on you bigots… Shame on you homophobes. You’re not welcome here. You’re going to burn in hell.”
This behavior is becoming all-too familiar these days. Some time ago, we blogged about a church that was broken into and vandalized by radicals who advocate for the homosexual agenda. ADF also sued a radical group called “Bash Back” after they disrupted a service at Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan. After protracted litigation, we were able to obtain a nationwide injunction against the group that they would no longer disrupt church services or threaten or intimidate church-goers.
Even though violence and vandalism against churches may be on the rise, there are legal protections for churches. Check out our resource on Church Security on the Speak Up Church page. And if your church has ever been the victim of violence or vandalism, call us at (800) TELL-ADF and our attorneys will review the situation to see if the law can be brought to bear against the wrong-doers. Protecting the right of churches to worship freely without being fearful of violence is vital. After all, our country cannot enjoy the free exercise of religion when those who worship are targeted for violence or vandalism.
This post originally appeared here.