Church ignoring Covid advice compares journalists to Nazi SS
"The SS acted more friendly in the war. We were not dealing with journalists [Sunday], but with terrorists," spokesperson and elder Wessel Snoek of the Sion church in Urk said in an interview with De Stentor, referring to a PowNed journalist being assaulted and hit by a car at the church on Sunday.
According to Snoek, the church has nothing to feel bad about and is considering pressing charges against the journalists who gathered at the Sion church on Sunday. The journalists gathered there after the church announced that it was no longer enforcing coronavirus measures - no masks were required, social distancing wasn't enforced, and the number of churchgoers was not limited to the 30 person maximum.
Snoek told the newspaper that the journalists were sensation seekers and also broke the coronavirus rules. He also said that the man who hit the journalist with his car was not to blame. "The journalist himself took a step forward and touched the car."
Snoek made these statements to De Stentor on Monday. A day later, the Sion church posted a statement on its website to apologize for Snoek's statements. The church said that the statements were made "under persistent heavy media pressure and exhaustion". "On behalf of the spokesperson and consistory, we inform you that we are taking these words back and we sincerely apologize. Especially to anyone who might feel hurt by this," the church said.
Reverend Anthonie Kort of the Mieras church in Krimpen aan den IJssel, where another journalist was assaulted on Sunday, also showed understanding for the violence used against the journalists in his sermon on Sunday evening, NOS reports. "We had to deal with things this morning that we can understand, when we are always harassed and tormented, if unrest happens," Kort said. "Around your church, the flames to oppress your church, put in a bad light."
The the leadership of the Mieras church apologized for the violence after the assault. It did not comment on Kort's sermon.
A firework was set off at the Mieras church on Tuesday morning, causing some damage to the church's windows, but no injuries.