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.
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.
Alex Bastian, deputy chief of staff for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, posted photos of the fire’s destruction on Twitter, stating he was troubled that someone would burn down the church he was baptized in.
“For some context, in our history and around the globe, every time Armenians have been targeted, they come for our churches and our schools,” Bastian tweeted.
“But you know what? It’s very hard to terrorize my community, no matter how hard people try. We are hardened by the millennia of hardship and the centuries of injustice. Most of us in the community, are refugees, or the children of refugees, from war zones around the world.”
“So here is another message to the perpetrators of this cowardly act, we will not be terrorized, bullied or intimidated,” Bastian wrote.
The incident comes less than two months after pro-Azerbaijan vandals attacked San Francisco’s Krouzian Zekarian Vasbouragan Armenian School.