Kids send message to man who defaced their Pilsen church

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 06:55PM
Children who attend a Chicago church that was defaced with racist graffiti want to meet with the man who pleaded guilty to that crime.


CHICAGO - Amid the recent incidents of racial unrest, children who attend a Chicago church that was defaced with racist graffiti want to meet with the man who pleaded guilty to that crime.

Children of Lincoln United Methodist Church would also like to speak with another man accused in a separate hate crime. The children want the men who committed hate crimes to know that immigrants are not a threat. The kids believe if the people motivated by evil ideology would get to know them they would no longer feel hatred.

"No hate, no fear, all immigrants are welcome here," children chanted as they marched to the home of Robert Samar, a 60-year-old Chicago resident who is in prison for defacing their Pilsen church with racist graffiti last year. A swastika, KKK, "rape and kill Mexico" and "Trump rules" were all scrawled on the front doors.

In the aftermath of Charlottesville, church members said it's time to change the narrative and let go of the hate.

"We are trying to show we are not going to accept hate in our church, we are also going to forgive what he wrote on our church," said Daysha Delvalle, 15.

"I feel if we can one day talk to him, we can help him, it can't be all mean we have to forgive," said Breanna Rossi, 10.

The children of the church not only prayed for forgiveness, they also wrote letters to Samar and Stuart Wright, a man who committed a hate crime at a synagogue after attending a bible study at Lincoln United Methodist.

"We are trying to get them to understand who we are that we are no threat to them and we want them to understand we will not be threatened by them either," said Pastor Emma Lozano, Lincoln United Methodist Church.

Pastor Lozano said in light of what happened to her church and the events in Virginia, she says it is time to build a national moral movement. She is teaching her youngest church members that forgiveness is important so is the fight against hatred and racism.

"For us to forgive means that we need to get justice," Delvalle said.

After pleading guilty, Samar was sentenced to two years in prison. Wright is on probation.

Besides messages for the two men, the kids of Lincoln United Methodist say President Trump must do more to silence people motivated by hate.

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