A public prayer display at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago that included a picture of Jesus Christ was vandalized Tuesday night, the Thomas More Society said Wednesday.
The display, which also included a cross, was part of the organization's Divine Mercy Project, which was scheduled to run from Good Friday until this Sunday.
Holes were poked in the picture of Jesus and a glass case was broken, the society said. The vandalism
occurred after a volunteer left the display for a few moments.
The society has erected the display in Daley Plaza for eight years with the help of private citizens, and volunteers are generally on hand to guard it.
The vandalism was reported to Chicago police, the group said.
"For the previous seven years, the display held its nine-day vigil without incident," the society said. "This is the first time that someone has defaced the images."
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society
is a national nonprofit law firm based in Chicago that supports pro-life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty causes.
"No display — whether religious, political, or artistic — should be destroyed by those who disagree with the message," said the group's attorney, Jocelyn Floyd. "It is shameful that the image of Jesus Christ was marred last night, but private citizens should not allow the occurrence of vandalism to discourage them from expressing their faith in the public square.
"Free speech and expression of faith is protected by the First Amendment," Floyd added. "Destruction of others' speech is not."
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