Washington, D.C. — A Hindu temple in Georgia was vandalized by unknown miscreants earlier this month, a Hindu American organization said on Aug. 6.
According to local media, members of Vishwa Bhavan Mandir in Monroe, Ga., found graffiti and profanity displayed on their place of worship early on the morning of Aug 2.
Spray painted messages included “ha ha” and “LOL.”
The Hindu American Seva Communities, which has taken up the case, said the incident of vandalism has shocked Hindus across the country.
“The desecration of the Lord Shiva statue (murti) was significantly heartbreaking for the Hindu community in Georgia, as it is the main deity of worship. Across the country, we find, many mandirs (temples) do not actively voice their concerns other than file a police report,” HASC said in a statement.
The statue of the Lord Shiva was covered with black spray paint, local media reported.
“It is important for our places of worship, around the country, to be aware of what has happened as this could happen to anyone. They should educate themselves and be prepared with a security plan and not wait for an act of vandalism or a hate crime to start the process,” said HASC Indian American board member Anju Bhargava.
In a statement, HASC urged Hindu temples to transform this heinous crime and moment of pain into a moment of understanding towards greater understanding and social harmony.
“It is important for us to come together and address the issue of vandalism and hate crime impacting our communities and places of worship,” it said.