Parishioners are trying to figure out who broke into and vandalized the Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church on Lincoln Street earlier this week.
The church was getting ready to mark its 20th anniversary Sunday, but that celebration may have a dark cloud over it after a suspect broken in and ransacked the church early Tuesday morning. Church members say that's not what's bothering them so much as it happened when they're getting ready to celebrate their religious freedom.
For most parishioners at the church America was their destination for religious freedom. Sunday marks two decades of being able to celebrate their views together. However, what should be a day of uninterrupted reflection was shattered in a matter of seconds.
"So we are enjoying the freedom here and we are celebrating and this," Pastor Alexander Kaprian said, shaking his head.
Security footage shows a man dressed in all black breaking into the church just after 4 a.m. Tuesday. He's seen kicking doors open and looking around in several rooms. Pastor Kaprian said the man made off with their computer and about $400 that was going toward fixing the church's leaking roof.
"I would say that the most damage is like moral damage," Kaprian said.
Kaprian added he believes that there's more to the crime than just trying to make a quick buck.
"I would say it's not just like a robbery, it's like a hate crime," he said.
Regardless of the suspect's motives, Kaprian said the church will pray for the man to turn himself in.
Anyone with information on the break in or recognizes the man in security video can contact the Spokane Police Department tip line at 509-242-TIPS.