Ukrainian church desecrated in Sydney
A Ukrainian church in Sydney has been desecrated with racial slurs in an attack the NSW government has labelled vicious and abhorrent.
Members of the Ukrainian community woke on Saturday morning to find the St Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lidcombe covered in spray paint.
Among the vandalism is a swastika symbol and the message ''traitors fascists''.
Father Simon Ckuj said the church partly commemorated Ukrainians who fought against Nazism in World War Two.
''This act completely defiles the memory of those who died fighting fascism,'' the parish priest said on Saturday.
Despite the offensive crime, the church says it will pray for the graffiti artists at a Sunday morning service.
Peter Shmigel, of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, says 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, once translated to English, also reads ''burn in hell for the sins of Poroshenko'', referring to the President of Ukraine.
Communities and Citizenship Minister Victor Dominello said the act was completely unacceptable.
"To use an international racial dispute to vilify a community in Sydney is abhorrent,'' he said.
''The use of swastikas as a means of denigrating and attacking any community in NSW is utterly offensive.''
The church says the vandalism has been reported to police.