'Sectarian attacks against churches, Orange Halls or other venues are hate crimes which must be stopped'
A Catholic church has sustained scorch damage during a suspected arson attack in North Belfast.
Marking on the door and side of St Mary's on the Shore Road suggested a petrol bomb had been thrown and there was evidence a paint bomb had been hurled at brickwork, police said.
Sinn Fein Cllr Gerry O'Reilly said it was the latest in a series of attacks.
"Last night's fire bomb attack on St Mary's on the Shore Road was despicable and completely sectarian," he added.
Petrol and bottles were recovered nearby.
The representative said: "I'm calling for those within unionism to stand shoulder to shoulder with St Mary's parishioners and use whatever influence they have to end the attacks.
"Local people are very upset at this latest attack. There is no justification for such attacks on any place of worship."
North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said the attack was inexcusable.
"Whoever is carrying out these disgraceful attacks must be caught and brought to justice," he added.
"Sectarian attacks against churches, Orange Halls or other venues are hate crimes which must be
"As a society we must continue to stand for civil and religious freedom and tolerance.
"The entire community must unite against those who carry out sectarian attacks."