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‘God Loves Us All’: St. John’s Church In D.C. Puts Up Racial Justice-Themed Murals
St. John's Church Washington
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A historic church across the street from the White House recently adorned the plywood barriers protecting it from vandals with murals depicting racial justice-themed images.

St. John’s Episcopal Church of Lafayette Square, which has served as the “Church of the Presidents” since it was built in 1816, became a central symbol of the riots that roiled Washington, D.C., over the summer after protesters attempted to light part of the structure on fire. Since then, most of it has been boarded up and barricaded with fencing, concrete road blocks, and police presence.

Rev. Rob Fisher, the church’s rector, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that they worked together with a local arts group called the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District to transform “something that is a bit of an eyesore” into “colorful images offering message (sic) of love, healing, togetherness and peace in Jesus’ name.”

“The artists really put their hearts and souls into the works they created. Many expressed to me what an honor it was to decorate the boards on such a historic place,” Fisher said. “One of our central themes is the Hebrew word shalom, which means more than the English translation ‘peace’ but ‘wholeness’ or ‘completeness.'”

“One thing I hope for with the murals is that while the nature of stained glass windows is to bring light and beauty into a room or worship space, we’re able to flip that script by sending light and beauty outward to our surrounding neighborhood,” Fisher continued.

“The visuals are like the bell we ring in our steeple — they remind us that God is present, that God loves us all, and that it is important, especially in difficult times, to look up! To remember that we are all part of something greater.”

Fisher was among those who criticized President Donald Trump after he was photographed with a Bible in front of the church that BLM had tried to claim as the “BHAZ: Black House Autonomous Zone.'”

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, who leads the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, was also enraged that Trump used the church for such a purpose, stating at the time, “The President just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for.”

The incident later became a point of contention during a congressional grilling of Attorney General William Barr.

As The Daily Wire reported:

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) sought to use words from progressive religious figures to attack Barr over the administration using law enforcement to clear out violent rioters from a church across the street from the White House.

“Are you aware that the rector of the church, that the Episcopal archbishop of Washington, and the presiding bishop of the Episcopal church nationally, along with the Catholic bishop of the archdioceses of Washington all denounced this police assault on the civil rights and civil liberties of the people?” Raskin snapped.

“Did they do that before or after the fire was put out?” Barr asked, referencing a fire that was set at the church during the riots that law enforcement said was intentionally set.

Related: Barr Shreds Democrats During Hostile Questioning: Democrats Won’t Condemn ‘Mob Violence,’ ‘Attacks On Federal Courts’

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