The Islamic State has hijacked a Sydney church website and replaced its homepage with a graphic video and threatening message.
The video relayed footage of gruesome deaths of Islamic State victims who have been beheaded, shot and even burned alive in the Middle East.
‘Hacked by Islamic State,’ text on the black homepage read on the Our Lady of Mercy Syriac Catholic Church website, based in Concord in Sydney’s west.
‘We don’t negotiate except with cannon, we don’t have dialogues except with guns,’ the text said.
Parish priest Rahal Dergham told Daily Mail Australia that their church community is mostly from Iraq and Syria, and that they first felt shock followed by ‘a big wave of anger and hurt’ when they realised their website had been hacked.
‘We have our families still under the threat of ISIS and the majority has been hurt, displaced or raped,’ Parish Dergham said.
‘I don’t think at this stage we have any fear. We’ve lost everything.
‘They [the church members] feel a big loss has happened. We’re always hoping that at one stage ISIS would be defeated and we would be back to our towns and churches and monasteries and villages and properties, and business as usual. [But] people have lost hope.’
He said the church community had been seeking a peaceful way of life.
‘Hopefully Australia will always be a safe country and safe home for all of us.’
The church’s website was restored later on Thursday.
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Photo: Daily Mail / Google