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US church websites hacked to post appeal...

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US church websites hacked to post appeal for conversion to Islam

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US church websites hacked to post appeal for conversion to Islam

Country/Region: United States

The FBI has launched an investigation after 18 church websites across the United States were hacked and their regular content replaced with an appeal for Christians to convert to Islam.

hacked web site
The hacked web site of Tower Presbyterian Church in Grove City, Pa., which was one of 18 across the US that were affected.

The Rev. Vinnie Dauer of Fallen Timbers Community Church in Waterville, Ohio, said he received a text message from a church member telling him that someone had posted "Muslim propaganda" on the church's website.

Mr Dauer, who is the assistant pastor of Fallen Timbers, said:

"It was unnerving, but I think also it was an indicator to me of the different world we live in. No one could walk into this church building and put up propaganda that's contradictory to our belief system, but yet our website is a representation of who we are."

Churches in other parts of the US, including California, Seattle, Texas, North Carolina and Florida, were also affected by the hacking.

The hacker, who identified himself as a Muslim and signed his work "Mr HAiL", gained access to the website host's entire portfolio of sites, but altered only the church sites.

He deleted the content and replaced them with a photograph of Mecca, a few paragraphs about Islam, and a list of twelve other websites purportedly containing more information about the Muslim faith.

Ryan Leisure of R Leisure Enterprises, which hosts the sites, said:

"It's a little alarming that just the churches were getting targeted by it. It seemed like he was clearly trying to convert people. I don't see how he could actually be successful with this, but he was talking about Christians converting to Islam."

Mr Dauer said he was confident that the site would be secure in the future after extra protection measures were introduced. He said it was "a little scary" that someone may have stumbled on the church's site and seen something different from what the church represents.

But websites and social media have become major ways for churches to reach out to people and keep members informed about church activities, and he does not see that changing. "If we had to choose between a phone number and a website, I'd choose a website."

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Read the Toledo Blade Article - Church Web sites hacked to push conversion to Islam
Read the Sentinel-Tribune Article - Hacking investigated

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US church websites hacked to post appeal for conversion to Islam

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  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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