Adam Schiff: Arson at Armenian church in San Francisco despicable

The devastating fire – caused by arson – at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco is despicable, Rep. Adam Schif has said.

“For around the world, but especially in our California community, this hits close to home. The devastating fire – caused by arson – at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco is despicable. Those responsible for this act of hate must be swiftly brought to justice,” Schiff said in a Facebook post.

“Across the country, hate crimes are on the rise. And for the Armenian community, hate directed towards the community is nothing new – from vandalizing churches, to tearing down flags, and even violence. We must all condemn hate, wherever it is seen, however it manifests,” the lawmaker added.

A building next to an Armenian church in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights burned down overnight Thursday.

Dispatchers received reports around 4 a.m. of a fire at the building next to the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church. Fire crews arrived on scene not long after and managed to prevent it from spreading to the church, but the building was destroyed.

“The San Francisco Fire Department responded immediately, however, the building has suffered a great loss,” V. Rev. Fr. Smpad Saboundjian and church chairman Rostom Aintablian wrote in a message to parishioners.

District Attorney of San Francisco Chesa Boudin has expressed outrage at the arson at Armenian Church.

“The Armenian community of San Francisco woke up today to an arson at their church. There is no room for this cowardly, hateful, criminal conduct in San Francisco. We stand with the Armenian community against hate,” Mr. Boudin said in a Twitter post.

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