Faith leaders speak out after racist rant takes over San Jose Easter Sunday service

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A community is rallying behind a South Bay church after a virtual service was interrupted by a racist, vulgar rant on Easter Sunday.

“Heartbroken that Easter would be Zoom bombed.”

That “Zoom bomb” filled with anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist insults at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose.

In a virtual meeting Wednesday, Bay Area faith leaders spoke out.

“It’s terrible beyond words and so I just wanted to say the Jewish community stands with the church. We feel great empathy for what’s happened to you and it’s true that the hate seems to be spewed in all directions.”

“You can hear yourselves that the statement was filled with references to the Jewish community as well and we felt like we want to be in solidarity,” Reverend George Oliver said.

Two boys and a young child could be heard spewing vulgar language.

Aside from Easter, the hate speech happened on the last day of Passover and the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

“There were African American women in that crowd,” Reverend Oliver said. “There were survivors of domestic violence and others. This is not where you do this.”>

It was Reverend Oliver’s first Easter service at the church. The goal – to have a safe environment for all.

Zoom is investigating the hack. Reverend Oliver says the culprit’s username has been identified.

The church is healing from a fatal stabbing that killed two of its members in November last year.

In the wake of the violence and hate, the church is raising money for security.

“We will not be deterred by a stabbing or from white supremacist bombing our Zoom services,” Reverend Oliver said. “We will be here like we have been for 107 years and we plan to be here for 300-400 more.”

The church has reported the Zoom incident to local, state and federal law enforcement, calling for an investigation as a hate crime.

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