Aussie extremists storm church, annoy worshippers

Far-right extremists attack New South Wales church
Far-right extremists attack New South Wales church

On the same day a Muslim cleric and his associate were shot dead in New York, a group of far-right extremists have stormed a church service in Australia in mock-Muslim clothing to spread an anti-Islam message.

The group, who call themselves Party for Freedom and have links to Pauline Hanson's One Nation party, invaded the Gosford Anglican Church in New South Wales at about 9:30am on Sunday morning.

Pretending to pray and yelling messages through a loudspeaker, the extremists babbled about the Western world "living in denial" and "promoting Islam".

In footage filmed by Party for Freedom members themselves, churchgoers look annoyed at the interruption to their service and disappointed by the lameness of the intended message. Some can even be heard laughing at the intruders.

But the church's Father Rod Bower says some parishioners were traumatised and children were frightened.

"I quietened the congregation down; they were a bit distressed," Father Bower told media.

"It was... just out of the blue, some of the congregation were quite upset."

The church has been targeted by the far-right for promoting the humane treatment of asylum-seekers and calling for a stop to the spread of Islamophobia.

Father Bower said the group's actions had violated the sanctity of his church.

"I accept and even support their right to have a peaceful assembly in a park - across the road even," he said.

"But to come in and violate our sacred space and traumatise our congregation is simply unacceptable."

In the video Party for Freedom posted, its members claim they carried out the church invasion to let Father Bower know they're "not happy with his... nonsense about sponsoring Islam and multiculturalism".

Police are reportedly investigating the incident.