A police department in Alabama said homicides are up in the area because people have chosen to “embrace Satan.”
In a since-deleted Facebook post, reports the Associated Press, the police department in Opp, Alabama — which is roughly 85 miles away from Montgomery — wrote about two homicides in two days in Covington County.
The all-caps post read these murders are happening because “we have turned away from God and embraced Satan.”
“We may have not meant to do so but, we have,” read a portion of the post, according to AP. “It is time to ask for God’s help to stop this.”
The police department notes there have been five murders in Covington County this year.
In a statement, the non-profit organization Freedom From Religion Foundation criticized Opp police for “blatant, illegal religious promotion” on its Facebook page.
“It is negligent for the department to spread a message of prejudice against those who choose not to believe in or worship a god,” said Sam Grover, associate counsel for FFRF, in a statement.
The latest message on the Opp Police Department’s Facebook page: “God bless each and all on this Monday.”
The post features comments from several users scolding the department. “As a government organization does this not constitute promoting religion,” said one user.
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