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Akld church Trump billboard defaced

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/04/2016

An Auckland church billboard made famous for its depiction of US politician Donald Trump is in the headlines again as the victim of a hate crime.

The billboard depicting the Republican frontrunner for US president - or a cartoon of his likeness - was originally erected outside The Community of Saint Luke church in Remuera last month, where he criticises a crucified Jesus for being a "loser".

It was stolen just before Easter, but was resurrected after several days.

However, it seems the billboard has proved too much temptation for an anti-Islamic vandal, who has pasted over Trump's original words with the message "Islam hates us".

St Luke's minister Glynn Cardy says the defacement is sobering.

"It seems in the wider Auckland community that there are Christians who believe Islam does hate Christianity," he said.

"Further, they think this sentiment is shared by Donald Trump."

Mr Cardy said St Luke's has run a programme for many years to encourage understanding between different world faiths.

"We know, from personal experience, that Islam does not hate us."

After the billboard was stolen the church said it would keep the billboard up as long as the issue of Mr Trump's candidacy remained undecided.

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