The pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. responded over the weekend after racist violence broke out at her place of worship.
Video shared on social media on Saturday showed a group of mostly white men known as the Proud Boys burning Black Lives Matter signs. The name of Asbury United Methodist Church could be seen on one of the signs.
The group was participating in a rally to oppose President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election.
Proud Boys and other white supremacists burn a Black Lives Matter sign from the Asbury United Methodist Church in D… https://t.co/rkOaV2GP0e— Kristen Clarke (@Kristen Clarke) 1607872100.0
In a statement on Sunday, Rev. Ianther M. Mills said that the incident was evidence of "an apparent rise in white supremacy."
"Last night demonstrators who were part of the MAGA gatherings tore down our Black Lives Matter sign and literally burned it in the street," Mills wrote. "It pained me to see our name, Asbury, in flames."
"For me, it was reminiscent of cross burnings," she added. "We have been so confident that no one would ever vandalize the church, but it has happened."
Mills said that she was "especially alarmed" that the violence had not been condemned by the White House.
The pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in DC responds to the burning of the church’s Black Lives Matter sign… https://t.co/DA5BUVH8JS— Jack Jenkins (@Jack Jenkins) 1607867100.0
Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law called on the Department of Justice to prosecute members of the Proud Boys under the Church Arson Prevention Act.
I'm calling on the Justice Dep. to immediately open a federal civil rights investigation into the 2 Black churches… https://t.co/bR3kbXZQK8— Kristen Clarke (@Kristen Clarke) 1607872504.0