Eastern Orthodox church damaged by teen vandals - New York News

Eastern Orthodox church damaged by teen vandals

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PHOENIX -

For the second time in two weeks, a north valley church has been vandalized. The criminals smashed everything in sight. Now parishioners are trying to pick up the pieces and move forward.

This is St. Michael the Archangel, located at Deer Valley and 31st Ave -- an Eastern Orthodox Church, 10 years in the planning stages, and so close to completion.

"It's going to be something beautiful for the whole neighborhood," says Jim Lozanovski, board president of St. Michael.

But this small congregation's confidence has been shattered, along with all of its windows -- not once but twice now in as many weeks.

"I don't know why would they break everything, they cannot just break the windows but destroy everything they could possibly get ahold of."

Busted plumbing, shredded drywall, and all of that broken glass litters this would-be sacred space.

Thankfully, a vigilant neighbor was watching, and he heard all of the destruction as it was taking place. It looks like the guilty parties are going to be held responsible -- so who could do all of this damage?

Apparently two 14-year-old boys.

"Hopefully nothing like this is going to happen in this community, hopefully that's a good warning out there, you know we're serious, we're watching our neighborhood," says Thomas Harwood.

"I don't know what provoked them to do this for the second time, the same kids because the same damage was done the first time," says Lozanovski.

The congregation has worked so hard to construct this house of worship, and they'll keep working -- insurance should cover much of the $30,000 damage.

They're just praying for the strength and the resources to move on.

"I hope to God that nothing happens like this again."

Church mailing address (current location):
22815 W. Sierra Ridgeway
Wittman, AZ 85361

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