Authorities in Los Angeles County, California are investigating an explosion and vandalism at a controversial area church. Someone set some kind of bomb off at the First Works Baptist Church in the city of El Monte on Saturday, according to authorities in media reports.
El Monte police Lt. Christopher Cano said in an ABC 7 article that it initially seemed like the windows had been smashed, but it turned out they were blown out from an explosion.
There has been no news of injuries, but no news of suspects either. Nonetheless, the church’s history hangs over the incident.
“Although we do not yet know the motive, I am aware of the anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynist sermons given by the pastor of First Works Baptist Church,” L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement, noting that her office referred issues regarding the pastor to the county’s Human Rights Commission.
Pastor Bruce Mejia has called on the government to execute gay people, called women “weak,” denounced Jewish people, and said Black Lives Matter had a “wicked agenda,” according to The New York Times. So that’s something to keep in mind as authorities search for who was behind the explosion, and figure out why the incident happened.
The church has indeed faced protests. One such demonstration, set for Sunday, was canceled in the wake of the explosion.
“We are in profound shock and hope that no one was hurt during this tragedy,” said the group Keep El Monte Friendly. “Our movement was intended to bring light and awareness to the hateful rhetoric taught by this group. We understand that what they preach can make people upset. However, we would never promote, encourage or condone any violence or acts of harm.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s LA field office at (310) 477-6565 or go to www.fbi.gov/tips.
[Screengrab via RMG News by way of ABC7]
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