Feds raid churches near military installations, including one in Killeen near Fort Hood
(KWTX) - Federal agents on Thursday raided three churches near military installations across the Southern U.S., including the Assembly of Prayer Christian Church in Killeen.
“I can confirm the FBI was executing court authorized law enforcement activity today in the vicinity of the intersection of Massey St. and E. Rancier Ave., in Killeen, Texas. No additional information will be released at this time,” FBI Special Agent Carmen Portillo said in an emailed statement to KWTX.
Assembly of Prayer Christian Church is located at 1013 Massey Street in North Killeen. Videos shared on social media on Thursday show law enforcement officers at the church.
According to the Killeen Daily Herald, dozens of Google and Facebook reviews of the church refer to it as a “cult” with a “habit of recruiting Fort Hood soldiers.”
Georgia churches raided by federal agents Thursday
In Hinesville, Georgia, The House of Prayer Church in Hinesville was raided by a swarm of FBI agents and police on Thursday morning, according to KWTX sister station WTOC.
In a similar response, the FBI told WTOC it was conducting a court-authorized search warrant. No arrests were made. WTOC reported The House of Prayer Christian Church has been the center of controversy in the community for years, including protests.
In 2017, former church members voiced personal stories of alleged abuse from the church and accused its leaders of separating their families. Many of the protesters expressed their belief that the church is a cult, according to WTOC.
The Coastal Courier has reported extensively on criticism of the Hinesville church, and there are many posts and allegations about the church on a forum of the Cult Education Institute website
Fort Stewart is near Hinesville.
According to the FBI, the raid in Hinesville is connected to a second raid Thursday at a church in the Augusta, Georgia area.
FBI agents were at the Assembly of Prayer church on Old Tobacco Road.
WRDW-TV, a KWTX sister station in Augusta, Georgia, also reported former church members have accused Assembly of Prayer Church as a cult that targets service members.
Fort Gordon is in Augusta.
It is not yet clear whether the church in Killeen is connected to the churches in Georgia.
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