Church on the Rise on Crocker Road has been swept up in a media storm following a visit from Keith and Mary Hudson, parents of pop star Katy Perry. The travelling ministers made a stop at the church Wednesday and Thursday of last week, but an allegedly anti-Semitic comment made by Keith Hudson has made the services international news.
News outlets quote Hudson as saying that the best way to make a Jewish person jealous is to get rich.
Church on the Rise Pastor Paul Endrei has come out against the media coverage, saying that the statement may have been inappropriate, but it was taken out of context.
“They’re decent people and they’re very respectful of their daughter, but the media wanted a story, so this is the way it went,” he said. “[Keith Hudson is] sorry it was taken that way and there are no anti-Semitic feelings here or with the Hudsons.”
“He said, ‘If you’re a small business owner, stand up. I want to pray for businesses to prosper,’” Endrei said. “He said, ‘God wants to bless you just like he blessed the Jews, in the best way.’ It was definitely not ranting and he wasn’t trying to compare Christians to Jews, but because of who he is, they took that and twisted it.”
Hudson's comment has sparked condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League's National director, Abraham H. Foxman. Foxman issued a statement Monday saying, "Keith Hudson's unabashedly anti-Semitic remarks to hundreds of worshippers in Ohio about Jews and money are a reminder that the age-old stereotypes are alive and well and continue to bubble up to the surface in many segments of society."
The story has even made it to Arutz Sheva in Israel with the headline: "Pop Star’s Preacher Dad Rants on ‘Money Jews,’ Collects Cash."
But Endrei said the story has been blown way out of proportion. Out of over 300 people who attended the event, Endrei said only one complained about Hudson’s statement.
“If he were truly bashing Jews, I would have said something,” Endrei said. “We get more complaints if it’s too hot or too cold.”
Endrei said he is also concerned that many outlets named the Hudsons as the pastors of Church on the Rise.
“We’re a very pro-Jewish church,” Endrei said, and noted that he traveled to Israel with a group of 42 others last month. “I don’t want to be attached to any of this negativity.”
Endrei will be making a statement of solidarity with Rabbi Adlerstein of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles to express his regrets for the misunderstanding. He will also be sharing his message on what the Christian position on Israel should be at the church's regular 7 p.m. service Wednesday.
To read more about the Hudsons' visit: