Jewish peace group protests outside Louisville church

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Members of a Louisville congregation were met by dozens of protestors on their way to church Sunday night. The Evangel World Prayer Center hosted a service intended to show support for Israel, but Louisville's Jewish Voice for Peace says the service sent the wrong message.

The church hosted the event for Christians United for Israel. Its leader is controversial Texas TV pastor John Hagee.

Standing on the side of Billtown Road, Jewish Voice for Peace was hoping to be heard. Members united to protest what was going on inside the Evangel World Prayer Center.

"We are calling attention to the fact that the group's name is very misleading," said organizer Russ Greenleaf. "The group portrays itself in a very misleading way which is why probably why a lot of these people have come to this."

Greenleaf was upset because the group hosted inside was founded by Pastor John Hagee. He's made media statements in the past that have been interpreted by some as anti-Catholic, Islamic, and Semitic.

"This is being presented as a harmless way of showing support for Israel, but they're not being told this is a very hateful group that is trying to provoke a war that will engulf the Middle East," Greenleaf said.

WAVE 3 took those concerns inside. Chief Operating Officer Darlene Miller welcomed us in and talked about the Sunday service.

"We show our support for Israel and come together with those that love Israel - Christians, Jewish folks, everybody," Miller said.

When asked about the protesters outside on the street and Hagee's organization, she said, "I'm sorry I'm not familiar enough with that to make a comment on that."

Another Jewish group in town, the Jewish Community of Louisville (JCL) supported and promoted the service.

We called the only number we could find for John Hagee Ministries. The operator told us it was a number to make donations and no one was available on Sunday to talk about the protest.

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