Armenian Embassy calls for full investigation of arson at San Francisco church building

In the wake of this July’s acts of vandalism against the KZV Armenian Elementary School in San Fransico, the Armenian Embassy is carefully monitoring deeply troubling reports of a potential act of arson against the Bay Area Armenian community center adjacent to the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in San Francisco, Armenia’s Ambassador to Armenia Varuzhan Nersisyan has said.

“We call on U.S. law enforcement authorities at the local, state, and federal levels to fully investigate this incident and hold those responsible accountable,” the Ambassador said in a Facebook post.

“I share my solidarity with the Bay Area Armenian community, and express my hope that, as the result of our collective efforts, the damage to the Church and Community Center will soon be fully repaired,” he added.

A building next to an Armenian church in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights burned down overnight Thursday.

Dispatchers received reports around 4 a.m. of a fire at the building next to the St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church. Fire crews arrived on scene not long after and managed to prevent it from spreading to the church, but the building was destroyed.

“The San Francisco Fire Department responded immediately, however, the building has suffered a great loss,” V. Rev. Fr. Smpad Saboundjian and church chairman Rostom Aintablian wrote in a message to parishioners.

District Attorney of San Francisco Chesa Boudin has expressed outrage at the arson at Armenian Church.

“The Armenian community of San Francisco woke up today to an arson at their church. There is no room for this cowardly, hateful, criminal conduct in San Francisco. We stand with the Armenian community against hate,” Mr. Boudin said in a Twitter post.

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