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Statement from County Executive Elrich on Rash of Church Vandalisms, Suspected Arsons

For Immediate Release: Monday 11 July

Earlier a version of this statement was sent with the wrong hotline number for tips. It has been corrected.

“Attacks on houses of worship in Montgomery County are completely unacceptable. The criminal activity that took place over the weekend does not represent the values of inclusion and equity that we are striving for in the communities of this County. We pride ourselves on our diversity of religious communities. A hateful incident against one community impacts us all.

My thoughts are with the leaders and congregants of St. Jane de Chantal Catholic Parish, North Bethesda United Methodist Church, and Wildwood Baptist Church during this very difficult and concerning to the institutions and the families they serve. We have reached out to each of the churches to see if they need any assistance to help them during this time.

I have talked with our Fire Chief and Police Chief and have asked them to keep me updated on the progress of the investigation. We encourage anyone with any information to call the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Arson tip line at 240-777-2263. For more information on the faith community and hate crime response resources we encourage all our religious leaders to reach out to Faith Liaison Kate Chance at [email protected].

Hate in any form has no home in Montgomery County.”   

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Media Contact: Scott Peterson, 240-255-8462

Release ID: 22-022