A Belfast church is closing its doors through Wednesday amid fears that “liberal” churches could be targets before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
That message from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast comes at a time of heightened tension in the United States as Donald Trump is set to leave the presidency this week.
“There is a collective anxiety in our country following the events at the capital on January 6th and I know our giant UU hearts feel every bit of it. Let’s be sure we take the time we need to remain connected to one another and to take care of ourselves,” the church said in a Saturday message to its congregation.
The church made the decision to close after the Maine Council of Churches warned about potential threats to churches “perceived as ‘liberal.’” The council stressed no threats had been made against specific churches, but only relayed a message from the United Church of Christ, which had received “credible warnings” from police.
READ MORE CAPITOL RIOT COVERAGE
The nation has been wracked by tension in the wake of the violence that shook the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, when a mob that included Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists and QAnon adherents stormed the Capitol as Congress began certifying Biden’s Electoral College win.
Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the riot.
Since the Capitol riot, the FBI has warned every state that armed protests could pop up in state capitals from coast to coast from Jan. 16 to at least Jan. 20 in response to Biden’s inauguration. Gov. Janet Mills has activated the Maine National Guard to reinforce security around the State House in Augusta if needed.
In response, the Bangor School Department said Friday it won’t show the Democrat’s inauguration in the classroom because of fears of violence. Students, though, will have a chance to view and discuss the inauguration later when “appropriate in the curriculum.”
Belfast has seen minor confrontations in recent days between anti-mask and anti-shutdown protesters and others. Regular protests have been held at a street corner in the coastal city, and a Jan. 3 confrontation ended with a pedestrian being pushed into an intersection. The man wasn’t hurt, and no charges have been filed in that case.