NORTHAMPTON — Police say a city man is suspected of spray-painting angry messages about the teachings of Christian Science on the First Church of Christ, Scientist at the corner of Masonic and Center streets.
Police Capt. Jody Kasper said church officials identified the man when police showed them video surveillance that had been captured by cameras outside the police station, which is directly across the street.
“We are looking at this as vandalism and as possibly being a hate crime,” Kasper said.
The graffiti on the church appears to be critical of the Christian Science teaching that prayer can heal medical problems. The website of the national First Church of Christ, Scientist states that the religion does not specifically tell members not to use Western medicine for themselves or their children. It says members are free to seek any kind of health care they choose, but also states that there have been over 80,000 “Christian Science healings” since the founding of the religion in 1879.
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