Was Voice Contestant Christina Grimmie Killed Because of Her Christian Faith?

Christina Grimmie poses at a media event for the television show 'The Voice' in Universal City, California, April 15, 2014.
Christina Grimmie poses at a media event for the television show "The Voice" in Universal City, California, April 15, 2014. | (Photo: Reuters/Kevork Djansezian/File Photo)

A new report circulating online says murdered singer and popular contestant on NBC's "The Voice," Christina Grimmie, might have been killed because of her Christian faith.

According to the Santa Monica Observer, Orlando Police are investigating Grimmie's death as a hate crime after examining cell phone and computer records of her killer, Kevin James Loibl, 27. Loibl shot Grimmie on Friday night as she signed autographs after a concert in Orlando, Florida.

The Observer did not specify the exact source of the information from the Orlando Police Department.

In an email response to The Christian Post on Tuesday regarding the investigation into Grimmie's death, police department spokesperson Wanda Miglio said: "I have received no information about that rumor."

On Tuesday morning, Orlando Police indicated in a tweet that they were still working on the case despite the tragedy at the popular gay nightclub Pulse that left 49 dead and more than 50 others injured.

"Even w/the events in last few days, our detectives are still working #ChristinaGrimmie case," the tweet said.

On Sunday, the day of the Pulse massacre, members of Fellowship Alliance Chapel in Medford, New Jersey, where Grimmie was the female lead of the church's worship team gathered to comfort each other over their loss.

"When something happens like Christina Grimmie getting shot by a murderer, we have to remember that we are part of an unshakeable Kingdom that Christina sang about … this is the faith Christina Grimmie had," Pastor Marty Berglund told The Daily Beast as ushers passed around boxes of tissues.

Church greeter Ed Letts said he hopes some good might come of the singer's murder.

"We are people of faith, so as we see it, Christina now stands with Christ," he said. "Knowing that in our hearts brings peace, and maybe through her videos she can now get that message out."

Pastor Berglund explained that Grimmie's death has deeply affected the church and the singer's family.

"We were all shaken," he said. "She'd been coming here since she was a little kid and sang with the worship team. Then her YouTube videos started getting popular. We watched her star grow."

Berglund explained that he has been in contact with Grimmie's parents and they discussed the prospect of holding the singer's funeral service at Fellowship Alliance Chapel.

He described Grimmie as being a devout Christian, who worked hard to stay grounded. Grimmie and her family worshiped regularly at Fellowship Alliance Chapel until she moved to California in 2012 to join Selena Gomez on tour, according to Berglund.

Grimmie went on tour with Gomez because she wanted to raise money for what would be her first and only studio album, 2013's With Love.

Before going on tour, Grimmie and her parents, Bud and Tina, sat with Berglund for counseling.

"They were afraid to go, they were afraid of the industry, of all the Hollywood stuff, afraid of being swallowed up by the industry," he said.

When Grimmie placed third on "The Voice" in 2014 she got a short deal with Island Records but was adamant about staying connected to her roots.

"Christina had a tattoo on her forearm. It said 'All Is Vanity' from the book of Ecclesiastes," elder Bryan Russell told The Daily Beast. "So every time she performed she could see those words. She never wanted to forget who she was working for and who she represented."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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