Swastika Spray-Painted On Hemet Home Of Messianic Pastor

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — A backward swastika that was found spray painted on the home of a Messianic Jewish pastor will be investigated as a hate crime, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies said Friday.

The vandalism was reported Thursday morning at the Michael Rose’s residence in Hemet, where deputies found the swastika they believe was painted on his garage door between Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning, the Associated Press reported.

The incident reportedly occurred on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews across the Southland and the world.

Messianic Jews believe Jesus is the messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, Rose told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. The movement — which gained in popularity in the 1960s — is considered to be a form of Christianity.

Rose, who is pastor at the Light of Love Chapel in San Jacinto, has received hate mail and threatening phone calls recently as well, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The Light Of Love Chapel assists in outreach efforts for needy families in the San Jacinto Valley.

Rose lives in the rented home with his wife and their blended family of nine children.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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