Hackers disrupt San Jose Church’s online Easter service with profanity and racist hate speech – CBS San Francisco
SAN JOSE (KPIX) – San Jose police are investigating a hate crime against a San Jose Baptist church after suspects hacked into their online Easter services and sparked a spate of profane racist and homophobic comments.
The incident happened on Sunday, April 4th, during a Zoom livestream of the Grace Baptist Church Easter services.
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“What happened to us on Easter Sunday morning was incomprehensible”
said Reverend George Oliver.
He had just opened the ministry online for everyone to ask for prayers when the intruders clashed with loud music and a long line of profanity and n-words.
“Yo, what’s wrong with my n – monkey noises,” said one of the hackers on a recording of the incident.
Parishioners tried to stop the intruders, but it only got worse with attacks on Jews and LGBTQs.
“I’m a gay black man. I was preaching in front of a rainbow banner, and that day they decided to bombard this church with anti-Semitic abuse. with homophobic and transphobic abuse and racial abuse against African Americans and the Latinx community, ”said Rev. Oliver. “That is inappropriate and we want justice.”
Zoom Security tracked intruders’ emails and blocked them from the platform.
The company is also working with the San Jose Police Department, which is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
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“Hearing our youth spit such hatred really shows you the depth of white supremacy and hatred in this church,” said Beija Gonzalez, parishioner of Grace Baptist Church.
The incident comes just four months after five people were stabbed, two fatally, by a mentally ill person in a section of the church that provides services to the homeless.
James Chelley, a parishioner who survived being stabbed three times, told KPIX that this verbal assault tests his faith even more than the physical violence he has experienced.
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“It was easier to forgive the person who physically stabbed me than to forgive someone with that amount of hatred. Because the person who
stabbing me was out of my mind. But these people on the internet are just full of hatred, ”said James Chelley.
Rev. Oliver said hatred will not change his ministry, which serves some of the most vulnerable in the San Jose community.
“This church was chosen; This pastor was chosen. This community was chosen for a reason. We will oppose this and put our faith on public display again, ”he said.
In addition to making racist statements, the hackers also threatened violence. And they apparently didn’t bother to cover their faces.
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A bystander in Arizona sent the church a testimony with the hackers
seemed to be a teenager.