Perhaps ‘virtual church services’ aren’t as good as the real thing after all. In what amounts to possibly the worst act of online terrorism possible, a church in Billings just had its ‘Zoom’ worship service invaded with child pornography.
Even though Governor Bullock gave permission to churches to meet in person (with social distancing in place), the First Congregational Church of Christ chose to use the online meeting software, Zoom, to broadcast its services on Sunday. The church is an LGBTQ-affirming congregation and seems to be mostly focused on ‘social justice’ issues, environmentalism, and the redistribution of wealth.
The Zoom platform has repeatedly been highlighted in various news reports around the nation after being ‘hacked’ by participants with unwanted, criminal, or salacious images and videos. Apparently, this is what happened during the First Congregational worship service, although the FBI has yet to corroborate that account.
The church’s Facebook page said on Sunday, “We watched in horror as our Zoom worship service was overtaken this past week by someone with incredibly evil intent. Our prayer is that somehow you had turned away, that no children were present to see these things, or that you were not present to see the terrible images that were being displayed.”
The post went on, “We are grateful for Rev. Marc Stewart and how he swiftly moved to call the FBI and file a Missing Children’s Report. He also called national offices and got assurance that money would be available for counseling for all of you as the treasured and beloved members of our church community and for us as your church leaders. He received swift assurances from our General Minister and President, Rev. John Dorhauer, that money would be made available to all those who want counseling or may need counseling as a result of just hearing that this happened.”
They added, “We take full responsibility for not setting up protocols which would have provided a barrier for this kind of thing to happen.”