A Pennsylvania man has been arrested after he made threatening statements against an Eastern European church community.
Paul O’Neill has been charged with making threats against the Slavic Baptist Church of Etters, Newberry Township Police said, according to The Christian Post.
Police say O’Neill allegedly made shooting gestures toward children and others at the church’s Vacation Bible School. He also left a derogatory Google review of the church.
“If this isn’t the most parasitic church on Earth, I’d like to know what is, and feel sorry for its neighbors,” the review reads, as quoted in a report by the Harrisburg-based ABC 27 News on Wednesday.
“No taxes, contribute NOTHING to the community, pretend to be Christians while discriminating against anyone not both Slavic & Baptists! … and ruin the local ecosystem. Farce! Do us all a favor, kill each other in a brutal [Russian-Ukrainian] war, and leave the planet better.”
Slavic Baptist is one of many churches that has set up a relief fund to help refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Gifts towards this relief fund will help establish safe shelters for refugees, provide food, water, and emergency supplies, and offer comfort and hope to the people of Ukraine during their time of great need,” the church said in a statement.
“Philippians 2:4 tells us to ‘look not only to [our] own interests but also to the interests of others.’ Let’s join together to serve the nation of Ukraine.”
O’Neill has previously been involved in harassment incidents.
In 2019, he was arrested after trespassing on the church’s property, reportedly looking for his cat.
Later that year, O’Neill reportedly pointed a flare gun at church member Alex Kolesink while he was trying to drive away from O’Neill in a truck, according to the York Daily Record.
For his most recent arrest, O’Neill faces felony charges of ethnic intimidation and stalking and misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats with the intent to terrorize another, as well as harassment.
O’Neill is being held in York County Prison after he had his bail set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing for O’Neill is scheduled for Aug. 23, according to reports.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Stevan Ovicigor
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report, and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.