Local religious communities respond to ISIS church threats

Posted at 9:19 PM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 22:41:41-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Local church go-ers said the threats of attacks on churches this Christmas weekend will not keep them from attending service.

"I don't think we've ever missed going to Church, on Christmas especially," said Katie, who said growing up, church was one of her favorite family traditions.

The FBI is warning local law enforcement agencies nationwide to keep an eye out for attacks by ISIS, who is possibly targeting churches. Katie said the threats don't mean anything to her.

"For me. It`s even more important to go to church this year to show my children and the country, you don't have to be scared as a Christian. Especially as Americans," said Katie.

This week, a Suffolk man was arrested and accused of trying to help ISIS. Officers feared he was close to carrying out an attack.

The local Muslim community said threats such as these are in no way a representation of their religion.

"ISIS are a cult and they are not a representative of the Muslim mainstream," said Henry Hornung. "We feel very angry on two levels. On the level simply of what these people are doing. We are angry about that. And also on the level we are misrepresented by these people."

Hornung said these negative actions are giving people the wrong idea about Islam, which he said is based on respect and kindness.

"We are required to respect the rights of people of other religions to practice their religions. Also to respect their safety and security," said Hornung.

As people head to service this weekend, a security consultant said to be aware of what's happening.

"You never know when its going to happen and that's why you have you try to be observant and alert to what could go on with the hope that it doesn't," said Bob Chauncey.

Katie said she'll be looking out, but is excited to pass on her family traditions to her kids. 'You can get easily caught up in this crazy season and going to Church on Christmas Eve is just a way to slow down and really focus on what`s important."