The Ontario Provincial Police says its Crime Unit and Forensic Identification Services are investigating Islamic State messaging spray-painted on the front of a Guelph-Eramosa Township church.
The graffiti, which reads 'The Islamic State Will Rem—' before trailing off, was spray painted on the front of Lakeside Church facing Conservation Road, just metres away from the church’s outdoor daycare playground.
Jeff Groenewald, interim senior leader of the church, said the messaging was likely painted Sunday night or very early Monday morning.
“It could be anywhere on the building, of course. Anywhere wouldn’t be good. Why it’s here, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the closest place to the road where the people came from,” said Groenewald.
Wellington County OPP attended the church and took photos, said Groenewald.
At this time, Groenewald said he has no reason to believe the graffiti is anything more than vandalism and doesn’t believe the congregation of approximately 1,200 members is being targeted.
“We have no idea who did this or why they would do it but it’s damage to the property and that is unfortunate,” he said.
OPP are treating the graffiti as a mischief investigation and ask anyone with information to call the detachment at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Groenewald said the graffiti will be removed later in the week and will be covered by plywood in the meantime, “because it’s not nice to look at. Until we get it cleaned off.”