Phenix City, Ala.- Two men who authorities said dabbled in satanism have been arrested in a recent rash of arson and vandalism at rural churches.
Satanic graffiti was scrawled at or near some east Alabama churches, including “Teach children to worship Satan!!” painted on a Sunday school classroom wall.
Geoffrey Parquette and James Clark were arrested Sunday and pleaded not guilty Monday.
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The 21-year-old suspects “called themselves professed spiritual satanists,” Russell County Sheriff Tommy Boswell said Monday.
Fires were set at three churches over four days beginning last Tuesday, destroying one of the buildings, and a task force of federal, state and local authorities was formed last week to investigate.
Satanic graffiti was found in or near two of the churches and a fourth that was not burned.