Police Investigate Swastika on Carthage Church Sign
Authorities are investigating who might have spray-painted a Nazi swastika over Hebrew letters on a church sign in Carthage.
Shiloh Tabernacle’s church sign bears the church name in that ancient biblical language, a word Pastor Troy Wiley says refers to the messiah.
“We are currently investigating it as a hate crime until we determine it is anything else,” Carthage Police Chief Bart Davis said Thursday. “We are checking to see if there have been incidents in other parts of the county.”
Wiley found the vandalism when the congregation was gathering for its Sabbath eve services on Friday, July 6.
“The incident is believed to have occurred, according to the Carthage Police Department official report, the night of Thursday, July 5,” Wiley said. “The swastika that was spray-painted on our church sign is an occultist sign of hate and murder. Adolf Hitler rose to political and religious leadership using ideas and spiritual doctrines from four different occults that he himself was a member of.”
Reached by telephone at his Wake County home on Wednesday, Wiley noted how carefully the vandals had angled their black swastika at the precise 45 degrees used by Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) during their 1930s rise to power.
He has reached out to other churches in the area and is a little disappointed at having had no response from any of them. He said this is a matter that should concern everybody.
“We would like to ask all churches to make this a matter of fervent prayer,” Wiley said. “They need to know this happened in Carthage.”
His congregation is culturally and racially mixed, with people of Jewish, African, European and American Indian descent. It meets in a building built years ago for an African-American denomination on Pete Kelly Road. This church, he said, is about as far from anti-Semitism as it could be. Its pulpit lectern came from Israel, and they worked with a rabbi to be sure the Hebrew characters on the defaced sign were correctly formed, spaced and placed.
While this is a Christian church and meets regularly on Sunday mornings, it also holds Shabbat eve services on Fridays.
“We do meet at 7:30 though,” he said. “Not at sunset.”
The church is located at 291 Pete Kelly Road, behind the McDonald's in Carthage. The pastor has left the offending black mark in place, at least temporarily.
“As the body of Christ we cannot confront an adversary that we do know about,” the pastor said, clearly outraged. “The swastika … was used by (Hitler) and his followers as a sign to represent the doctrines of racism and the occult. As results of his leadership, millions of Jews were executed.”
The officer who investigated told Wiley he didn’t know of any other such vandalism in the area. Because of the way the swastika was so carefully arranged in the Nazi matter, the pastor is convinced this was more than kids involved.
“Whoever did this knew how to position it at exactly the same angle as Hitler,” he said. “This was not something done by an ignorant person. They knew what they were doing.”
Carthage has come together in the past to stand over against this sort of thing.
In 1997, when a Ku Klux Klan group marched at Courthouse Square, people in Carthage organized an anti-Klan barbecue and fish fry to ignore them.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or email@example.com.
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