Dozens of people gathered at their Upper West Side church Friday night in a show of force against hateful symbols carved into their doors.
Community members, leaders and church parishioners gathered for the standing room-only service at the Fourth Universalist Society, where swastikas were carved into the church's recently refurbished doors.
Church members noticed the symbols last week, along with the words "race office," which, according to senior minister Schuyler Vogel, "we came to learn was a direct reference to a series of offices in Nazi Germany that enforced racial purity."
Vogel thinks it's because the church recently offered its space as a sanctuary congregation to house undocumented immigrants who now fear deportation.
"We want them to know that we're not intimidated, that we stand strong on the side of justice and love," he said.
The community vowed to unite, to include and to love.
"People are looking for a chance to come together on an interfaith level and just as a community to stand against hatred," Erin White said at the service.
The church is offering $2,500 in reward money for information about the vandal or vandals.
In the meantime, the church plans to have the door refurbished in the coming weeks.