A Russian Orthodox cathedral on New York City’s Upper East Side appears to have been smeared with red paint on Friday night, the same day the Russian Consulate was built about six blocks away. Drawn on graffiti With red spray paint.
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An eyewitness told CNN they saw a person wearing a face mask spraying red paint on the steps of St. Nicholas’ Russian Orthodox Cathedral late Friday night.
The act of vandalism was confirmed to CNN by Father Nicodemus, a spokesman for the cathedral.
Remains of paint were seen on Saturday morning after an eyewitness noticed a woman cleaning it.
We honestly do not understand those individuals who allow themselves acts of vandalism in relation to our cathedral. “We are praying for them,” Nicodemus told CNN. “We want them to realize that the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States does important spiritual and peacemaking activities here, and we are open to all people, regardless of their nationality and political beliefs.”
The NYPD said it was not aware of or investigating the incident.
Police previously told CNN they were investigating the red writing on the Russian consulate building as a “possible bias incident.” There were no updates in this investigation.
Nicodemus said it was the third case of vandalism since the beginning of the year in which the cathedral was covered in paint or had “insulting” graffiti written on it.
In addition, the cathedral also received “insulting” calls and emails. Some of them included direct threats against the clergy and parishioners.
Nicodemus said St. Nicholas Cathedral “is obliged to pass such letters to the police.” “We are grateful to New York law enforcement agencies for their prompt response to our communications and their continued support.”
He added that half of the parishioners in the church are Ukrainians, and it is still their main house of prayer.
The church said that since February, their parishioners have been actively involved in collecting financial and humanitarian aid for the victims of the war in Ukraine.
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