The parishioners of a Portland, Oregon, church that has served the community for 100 years say they have been forced to close and abandon the church because of rampant crime, homelessness, and “attacks by ANTIFA” in the area.
Bishop Dave Noble told the local press that attendees of the Church of Latter Day Saints were scared away by rioting, politics, the city’s historic crime, homelessness, and “collapse of social norms” and are fleeing in droves to Utah and Idaho. This “Mormon flight” has caused Oregon to lose 1.5 percent of its Mormon residents,
The 2,000-seat Gothic-style Portland Stake Tabernacle was built in 1929 in the Southeast Portland area of Richmond. The Tabernacle, along with the Tabor meetinghouse, were two of the oldest Mormon places of worship in Oregon.
Both places of worship, along with several others in Portland, are now empty as their members have moved away.
What was left of Bishop Noble’s congregation actually abandoned the church four years ago, and the Tabernacle building was used as a library until 2020, which was then closed permanently due to the pandemic. Mormon church leaders based in Utah decided to sell the building earlier in the year.
The property was held tax-free by the Mormons, which would not carry over to new owners, and the area is zoned only for residential development.
Portland, under the leadership of Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, was at the epicenter of the 2020 BLM riots and continually faces routine crime, rioting, and homelessness. In 2022 Portland decriminalized drug use, which led to a surge in violent crime.
In 2022 Portland hosted several more riots centered around the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. The city is also a center point for ANTIFA activities and protests, which includes the outrageous ANTIFA summer camp for kids previously written about in these pages.
All of these things have the Bishop, and his parishioner’s no longer feeling welcome or comfortable in the area.