Virtual Easter Sunday service hacked; the culprits spit out racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) – Part of an Easter morning worship service that was broadcast live on Zoom has been infiltrated by people spitting out racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs.

The senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church (GBC) in San Jose told ABC7 News he believed the five-minute tirade had targeted him.

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After censoring the obscene language, viewers of ABC7 will notice the dozens of “beeps” throughout the Zoom recording. Each covers a barrage of curses heard in real time by those attending Easter Sunday worship.

“F *** fuck Jews, man. Send the Jews to the concentration camp and gas all the fucking stinky Jews,” one of the hackers is heard saying.

“They had a purpose. This church is hiring a black gay pastor … They are coming to profane black people and LGBTQ people,” Reverend George Oliver said. “And on the last day of Passover talking about gassing the Jews? So I don’t think that’s any kind of coincidence.”

Reverend Oliver began as Senior Pastor on March 1. He said he recognizes Grace Baptist as the most progressive church in town, which he says has made it open to criticism.

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However, he admitted, “It was no ordinary day for us. We are not an ordinary church, and it was no ordinary attack.

“Getting somebody in and saying the n word over 40 times, in five minutes, it’s just… it’s amazing,” he explained. “And in some ways, I don’t believe it.”

Oliver said it was also difficult to understand the damage this could have on a congregation still healing after the fatal stabbings in November. In this attack, two people were killed and three others were injured.

“It’s not a bad thing that people recognize because it doesn’t leave a trace of blood,” Reverend Oliver said. “But that leaves a trail of injured people who were already injured initially.”

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Of Sunday’s Zoom hack, he said, “It was despicable and disgusting. Not only was Easter, which is the highest holiday for Christians, it was the last day of Passover. was murdered.”

Oliver explained that he is a 7th generation Texan and added, “I’ve heard all of these stereotypes, but not all at the same time.”

“These were people who had harbored ill will towards African Americans, Jews, LatinXs and others in our community,” he continued. “And the LGBTQ community in particular.”

“F *** f ***** s, f *** t ****** s. I could put a screwdriver in a ***** sa **”, the pirates said during the live. – flux.

Oliver is now using Zoom to better monitor his platform.

“Zoom needs to understand that the abuse of their platform needs to be handled, and the people who do that need to be removed from that platform,” he said.

ABC7 News has contacted Zoom. A spokesperson for the company responded with the following statement:

“We were deeply moved to hear about these types of incidents, and Zoom strongly condemns such behavior. We recently updated a number of defaults and added features to help Hosts access more easily. meeting security controls, including controlling screen sharing, deleting and flagging attendees, and locking meetings, among other actions.We also educated users on security best practices for setting up their meetings, including recommending that they avoid sharing private meeting links and passwords publicly on websites, social networks or other forums, and by encouraging anyone organizing large-scale or public events to use the Zoom webinar solution. We are committed to maintaining an equal, respectful and inclusive online environment for all of our users. rs. We take meeting interruptions very seriously and where appropriate we work closely with We encourage users to report any such incident to Zoom and to law enforcement authorities having jurisdiction so that appropriate action can be taken. taken against offenders.

Reverend Oliver will lead a press conference in the church sanctuary at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7.

While Sunday’s attack was virtual, Oliver said Grace Baptist is now raising money for physical security on site.

For a link to the GoFundMe campaign, click here.

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Alicia R. Rucker