Obama and Uncle Sam effigies stolen from Dove World

Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.

The Dove World Outreach Center reported that an effigy of Uncle Sam and an effigy of President Barack Obama, which was hanging on its front lawn, were stolen early Sunday, according to a police report.

Dove World, at 5805 NW 37th St., also reported that a baby symbolizing abortion and a rainbow flag symbolizing the gay community that were part of the display also were stolen.

According to the Gainesville Police Department report, the items were stolen between midnight Saturday and 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

“Both figures were cut down and stolen,” an officer wrote in the report. “The rainbow flag and baby doll were also stolen. The only thing left behind was the American flag.”

The church has been the target of vandalism in recent years after its senior pastor, Terry Jones, started anti-Islam and anti-gay campaigns.

Its signs have been broken and spray-painted over, and someone has left a burning Bible on its driveway.

In 2010, Jones announced plans to burn copies of the Quran at the church before later changing his mind.

The next spring, an assistant pastor did burn a Quran at Dove World, and the church posted a video of the act online.

Reports of the burning sparked outrage in Afghanistan, where a mob attacked a United Nations compounding, leaving seven people dead.

Earlier this year, Jones staged another burning, setting on fire more copies of the Islamic holy book as well as depictions of the prophet Muhammad.

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