[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/03/14/obama.minister/art.obama.trinity.jpg caption=" Barack Obama and his church's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in a 2005 photograph."]
Editor's Note: The following report contains objectionable language.
(CNN) - The Rev. Jeremiah Wright's former church sharply criticized the media Sunday for recent coverage of his past controversial sermons, saying in a statement that Wright's "character is being assassinated in the public sphere."
The statement comes two days after Barack Obama, a longtime friend of Wright and attendee of the Trinity United Church of Christ, formally denounced the sermons that have recently become the subject of controversy, calling them "inflammatory and appalling."
"It is an indictment on Dr. Wright’s ministerial legacy to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite,” the Rev. Otis Moss III, the current pastor of the church said in the statement.
“The African American Church was born out of the crucible of slavery and the legacy of prophetic African American preachers since slavery has been and continues to heal broken marginalized victims of social and economic injustices," Moss also said. "This is an attack on the legacy of the African American Church which led and continues to lead the fight for human rights in America and around the world.”
In the same statement, the Rev. John H. Thomas, the general minister and president of the United Church of Christ - the denomination to which Wright's church belongs - said the media was creating a "caricature" of his congregation.
“It’s time for us to say ‘No’ to these attacks and declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends," Thomas said.
The sermons in question became the subject of scrutiny earlier this week after being highlighted in an ABC News report.
At one December service, Wright argued Clinton's road to the White House is considerably easier than Obama's because of his skin color.
"Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home. Barack was," Wright says in a video of the sermon posted on YouTube. "Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary! Hillary ain't never been called a 'nigger!' Hillary has never had her people defined as a non-person."
Wright, who retired from his post earlier this year, also says in the video, "Who cares about what a poor black man has to face every day in a country and in a culture controlled by rich white people?"
In his formal denunciation of those sermons Friday, Obama defended his 20-year relationship with Wright, saying that the pastor has served him in a spiritual role - not a political one.
Related: The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart discusses Obama's ties to Rev. Wright
- CNN's Steve Brusk and Alex Mooney contributed to this report