Edmonton churches damaged by rock throwers

Police are looking for help finding the culprits who threw rocks through the windows and doors of six churches in south Edmonton between midnight and 6 a.m. on Sunday.

Hate crimes unit investigating attack on 6 churches

Father Joseph Pidskalny stands in front of one of the broken windows at St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Church. (John Archer/CBC News)

Police are looking for help finding the culprits who threw rocks through the windows and doors of six churches in south Edmonton between midnight and 6 a.m. on Sunday.

One of the rocks tossed through a window of an Edmonton church early Sunday morning. (EPS)

Decorative rocks were tossed in the windows of:

  • St. Theresa's Catholic at 75th Street and 29th Avenue
  • Lord of Life Lutheran at 79th Street and 27th Avenue
  • a church at 91st Street and Ellwood Drive
  • St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Church at 109th Street and 70th Avenue
  • Pleasantview United Church at 108th Street and 62nd Avenue
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church at 100th Street and 84th Avenue

Father Joseph Pidskalny said twelve windows have been broken at St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Church: five last week and seven early Sunday morning.  Pidskalny said the latest discovery was devastating to members of his congregation.

"It can be a bit much," he said. "I know when we made the announcement to the congregation yesterday, there was a lot of sighing, and a lot of disheartened people.

"We've cleaned up once, ok, and now we have to do it again but there's also a lot of resolve within the parish community that yes, they can destroy the whole church if they want, but we as a community will continue."

The Edmonton hate crimes unit is involved in the investigation.

"If it's a religious institution, then we will get involved," said Const. Alex Thomas.

"Part of the things that we need to know is the motivation behind the attacks ... so once we can determine that, if it is hate-related, then the crimes unit will continue with that investigation."

Pidskalny estimates that it will cost his church more than $30,000 to repair the damage.