PILSEN — A Pilsen church was again tagged with racist graffiti this week, the church's pastor said Monday.
The front door of Lincoln United Methodist Church, 2009 W. 22nd Place, was defaced with a swastika and words in marker that read "BURN" and "KILL" over the weekend, said Rev. Emma Lozano, Lincoln United pastor. Known as a safe haven for immigrants, the latest message marks the sixth time the church has been tagged with racist graffiti in recent months.
In March, the church was twice defaced with graffiti that read "Rape Mexico" and included a swastika. In July, the phrases "Rape and Kill Mexico," "KKK" and "Trump Rules" were scrawled on the parish door.
It's unknown who wrote the messages. Lozano found the latest graffiti on Sunday morning before church services.
In a Facebook post that included a photo of the vandalism, Lozano wrote that she is praying "for those who hate us" and those who "want to deport millions and separate children from parents who love each other, and those who want to build walls instead of bridges."
"Jesus Christ was a refugee and an immigrant," Lozano wrote. "Do you really think God loves you more than me?"
Lozano said the church has become a target for "racist white supremacists" because of the work the church does to fight deportations and because of the Mexican immigrant and South American refugee populations they serve.
Lincoln United Methodist is the sister church of Adalberto United Methodist in Humboldt Park, where Elvira Arellano, an undocumented Mexican woman, made headlines as she fought deportation and sought asylum with her child in 2006.
The graffiti comes after escalating tensions led Trump to cancel his presidential rally at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago this year. Lozano was among those who vowed to protest Trump's appearance.
Lozano, sister of labor activist and community organizer Rudy Lozano, is also founder of Centro Sin Fronteras, a Chicago-based organization that has fought for adequate schools, housing and against deportations.
Pilsen's library and a bilingual alternative school are named for Rudy Lozano, who was murdered in 1983.
Lozano reported the most recent graffiti to police Sunday, but she worries that the threats are not being seriously investigated by police.
"What are we waiting for? Are we waiting for them to burn crosses on our lawn?' she asked. "This is a hate crime."
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