Stark County authorities are trying to determine who tried to set fire to a church in Marlboro Township and damaged a cross at another house of worship in Alliance over the weekend.

They also are trying to find out if the two incidents are related.

Someone tried to burn down the St. Nikolai Orthodox Church on State Street Northeast in Marlboro Township. Meanwhile, someone used a chainsaw to cut down a handcrafted cross at the St. Nicholas Roman Orthodox Church on South Sawburg Avenue in Alliance, the Alliance Review reports.

St. Nikolai was founded after members of St. Nicholas left the congregation, the newspaper said.

“Whoever did this definitely wanted to send a message to this congregation,” Marlboro Police Chief Ron Devies told the Alliance Review about the St. Nicholas fire.

Read the full Alliance Review report here.