A church in northern Mississippi defied the coronavirus lockdown order… and now, someone burned it to the ground.
First Pentecostal Church had attracted attention after suing the city of Holly Springs, Mississippi, for arguing that the order had violated the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.
On Wednesday morning, the church caught fire–and police soon found a message, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits,” spray-painted on the ground near the church entrance.
The graffiti also shows a symbol of an A inside an atomic symbol, which is often used as a logo for atheist groups.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves took to social media to voice his anger and frustration.
“I am heartbroken and furious,” Reeves wrote. “In Mississippi, a church was just burned to the ground. They had been trying to open services. There was graffiti on the lot which read ‘Bet you stay home now you hypocrites.'”
“What is this pandemic doing to us?” Reeves asked. “We need prayer for this country.”
Police have not yet identified any suspects, but federal agents are currently going through the scene.