Amid nationwide riots following protests over the horrific police killing of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter activists harassed a Baptist church in Troy, N.Y., a suburb of Albany. Videos of the harassment went viral on Twitter, and the church confirmed to PJ Media that the harassment did, in fact, occur.
“On Sunday, June 28, the Marxist thugs screamed, chanted, harassed, blocked our steps from allowing people to enter the church, and then physically assaulted our church members,” John Koletas, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, told PJ Media on Thursday.
The harassment did not end on Sunday, however. “On June 29, Monday evening, after asking to be allowed into our church services, as long as they behaved, I allowed 15-20 of these BLM Marxists to come into our church building accompanied by two or three Troy police officers,” the pastor added. “After some preaching, singing, and an invitation to trust Christ, they left chanting and screaming vulgarities and obscenities on their way out.”
Koletas dubbed the Black Lives Matter activists “Marxist thugs” because the leaders of the official Black Lives Matter movement have identified themselves as Marxist and have adopted a Marxist political platform. Americans of goodwill should all agree that black lives matter, but the official movement seeks to weaponize the righteous anger over the death of George Floyd to further its radical agenda.
Kevin Hodge and his identical twin, Keith, who perform as conservative comedians and podcasters, shared three video clips of the harassment on YouTube.
As a mother approaches the church building, activists shout at her, “Why are you bringing a baby into a church?!” Others chant, “This is no house of God,” and “Save those kids!”
A second clip shows Black Lives Matter activists becoming more active, chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and then punching a church leader.
The final clip shows Black Lives Matter activists leaving the church after the service on Monday. One man yells, “I’m not Christian, boy!” A woman shouts, “Get the f*** out of my face!” The usher responds, “Jesus loves you.”
The church also shared a video of the harassment.
The church also shared a video of Koletas’ sermon to the protesters. He shared that he grew up in a neighborhood that was “85 percent black,” and said, “90 percent of my friends were black.” Koletas said, “I had anger, bitterness, and hatred in my heart” over the centuries of slavery the Turks perpetrated on the Greeks. “I know exactly what you’re going through,” he said, saying he himself hated America in his past.
When Koletas came to Troy, he knocked on “every door in the projects,” he said.
“I’ll be honest with you, I love the Troy police, even though I disagree with them. We pray for them every single week,” the pastor said. “They arrested me seven times, but I still love them.”
He addressed the protesters. “I love you as much as I love the Troy cops.” He shared the gospel message of salvation with them.
Grace Baptist Church also released a video interspersing the protesters’ attacks on Koletas with the pastor’s actual message.
It remains unclear why the Black Lives Matter activists targeted Grace Baptist Church, although it might have something to do with the church’s AR-15 gun giveaway. The church’s webpage about the gun giveaway quotes 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Koletas thanked PJ Media for reaching out. “God bless you for reaching out,” he said. “Please pray for our enemies. They desperately need prayer.”
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.