A vandal used the cover of night to damage a "Black Lives Matter" banner displayed outside a Wilmington church over the weekend.
Officials from the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington said they believe someone deliberately cut the world "black" out of the church's "Black Lives Matter" banner, displayed outside the church along Concord Pike near Halstead Road, sometime overnight Friday into Saturday.
The Rev. Roberta Finkelstein, of the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, called the vandalism "an anonymous and illegal attempt to silence Unitarian Universalism's prophetic voice."
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In a statement, Finkelstein said, "This cowardly act will not prevent us from continuing to speak out about racial justice as a congregation and a religious movement."
Officials said the church plans to replace the banner, and local police in New Castle County were notified of the incident.
"We know that many members of the Wilmington community — especially the faith community — are eager to have honest conversations about race, justice, and the value of black lives in America," Finkelstein continued in her statement. "In the face of this naked act of vandalism, our congregation will not be deterred from its mission. We invite members of the community to talk with us about their concerns."