Local News

Church Erects Easter Cross In Response To Cross Burnings

Posted May 29, 2005 6:19 a.m. EDT

— A Durham congregation is countering a message of hate with a message of love.

Three large crosses were found burning in Durham last week -- one near St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

The church has responded by erecting an Easter cross.

"Someone intended to send a message of evil, but we will send a message of good," said Bishop Michael Curry.

While St. Luke's Episcopal Church doesn't feel it was a target of the cross burnings, it does feel a responsibility to reclaim what some say has left a dark mark on Durham.

"We reach out to those who burn the cross and say, 'No, you don't need to burn a cross. You don't need to be afraid,'" Curry said.

Episcopalian leaders believe the cross burnings were placed in high-traffic areas so they could be seen.

Church leaders said their Easter cross, which is visible from I-85, would be up for only a day or two. After coming together to heal, they said, the community must move on.

"I hope they see we're peaceful and loving, and that we care about our community," Lorraine Haskell, a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, said.