A Ukrainian Catholic church in Sydney's west has been graffitied with racial slurs, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Members of the Ukrainian community woke on Saturday morning to find St Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lidcombe covered in spray paint. Among the vandalism is a swastika symbol and the message 'traitors fascists.'
Fr Simon Ckuj said the church partly commemorated Ukrainians who fought against Nazism in World War II. 'This act completely defiles the memory of those who died fighting fascism,' Fr Ckuj said on Saturday.
Despite the offensive crime, the church said it would pray for those who had vandalised St Andrew's at a Sunday morning service.
NSW Communities Minister Victor Dominello said the attack highlighted the need for strong racial vilification laws,
The attack on Friday night on the Lidcombe church was being investigated by NSW Police and was 'completely unacceptable', Mr Dominello said.
'To use an international racial dispute to vilify a community in Sydney is abhorrent. The use of swastikas as a means of denigrating and attacking any community in NSW is utterly offensive.'
Peter Shmigel, of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, said the act trashed the principals of a multicultural and democratic Australia. 'There is no room for people like those who attacked our church to import their foreign conflicts to Australia and Sydney, where our community has made a positive contribution for 65 years,' he said in a statement.
The church says the graffiti, translated to English, also reads 'burn in hell for the sins of Poroshenko', referring to the President of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Catholic church in Western Sydney desecrated with swastika graffiti (Sydney Morning Herald)