KNOXVILLE (WJHL) – On Thursday if you logged onto Westminster Presbyterian Church’s website you’d see the words “I love ISIS and Jihad”, a violent video, and vulgar language.
The church’s pastor Jim Richter said he woke up this morning to an email on his phone from a church member saying the website had been hacked by what appeared to be ISIS supporters.
“I think it’s terrifying, it’s hostile no matter what you say about it,” Marty Conley, who lives in Johnson City said.
A homepage to a church in East Tennessee, with about 200 members is not the first place you think would be vulnerable to a hack from ISIS.
“I thought that was really strange. You don’t think about that type of thing happening in our area, I mean little town Johnson City, Tennessee,” Conley said.
“Frankly I thought it was a little humorous that a little church in Johnson City, Tennessee would get hacked by something that says it’s from ISIS or that they love ISIS, now the website server when I communicated with him seemed to take that very seriously,” Richter said.
He said his team found out his church’s website wasn’t the only one displaying this message.
“They contacted the organization or company that services our website and from them we heard there were a lot of churches apparently and organizations that they serve that by being a web site provider were hacked so it doesn’t appear to be something that is directed at our church,” Richter said
Though he said he sees no real threat in the hack, he isn’t discounting it.
“I believe that there is a spiritual warfare that goes on I think that there is a real devil and a real Jesus and that there’s an opposition there so I’m not surprised that churches get attacked in a variety of ways and spiritual attacks and I would say this is one of them,” Richter said.
However serious the attack, it’s got some in Johnson City thinking.
“That seems so far away but its right here in our back door now,” Conley said.
Richter said the website provider is aware of the problem and is working to get it fixed.
We contacted the F.B.I. in Knoxville, they said they are passing the information along to the Johnson City office to look in to.
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