The Gereformeerde Gemeente Urk has apologized for the statements by Hessel Snoek in which the press officer of the Sion Church compared the actions of journalists with the actions of the National Socialist elite unit SS during the Second World War.
A day after Snoek’s statements, the Gereformeerde Gemeente Urk announced on its website that the statements were made “under persistent heavy media pressure and exhaustion”.
“On behalf of the spokesperson and consistory, we inform you to take back these words and we sincerely apologize. Especially to anyone who might feel hurt by this.”
Snoek mentioned the journalists in an interview on Monday The Stentor “a bunch of morons” who would have crossed all boundaries.
“About thirty people stood in front of our main entrance and a few even came on our property. The entrance was blocked and therefore people did not have enough space to enter. There were also journalists aggressive towards people and people were running after people. If you get a camera in front of you, you panic. The SS acted kinder in the war than the journalists. “
Journalists are hit
Snoek, also elder of the Sionkerk, spoke in the interview about the media attention for the church service in Urk last Sunday. Before the service, visitors to the church were approached by the media present. Almost without exception, the churchgoers reacted very dismissively to this.
Reporter Mark Baanders of broadcaster PowNed was even attacked and later hit by a churchgoer. A 35-year-old man from Urk was arrested by the police on Sunday on suspicion of driving into the journalist and is still detained. On Monday, two more men (26 and 28 years old) were arrested from that place.
A journalist from RTV Rijnmond was also assaulted. This happened in front of the Mieraskerk in Krimpen aan den IJssel. A suspect in that case has been arrested.