The leader of a large worship gathering in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, attended by thousands of Christians, said that the city has launched an effort to “selectively target Christians for harassment and punishment” after the health department said the organizers of the event would be penalized.
Sean Feucht organized the “Let Us Worship” event held Sunday evening on the steps of the Metro Courthouse, and videos showed thousands of people close together without masks on, WKRN-TV reported.
Following the event, spokesman Brian Todd of the Metro Public Health Department said it is investigating and would “pursue appropriate penalties against the organizer.”
“We have worked very hard to slow the spread of COVID by taking a measured approach to protect the community,” Todd said in a statement.
“The Health Department is very concerned by the actions that took place at the event and we are investigating and will pursue appropriate penalties against the organizer.”
The health department said Feucht did not submit the appropriate applications to hold such an event to any Metro department.
Dr. Alex Jahangir, the head of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said he was “concerned” when he saw the videos from the event.
“I think statistics would tell you that there are probably some people in that crowd that had the disease and I suspect some others in that crowd probably contracted the disease in a unmasked close quarters scenario,” he told WKRN.
Feucht responded in his own statement on Twitter.
“On the same day the World Health Organization warned the world against lockdowns, Nashville launched an effort to selectively target Christians for harassment and punishment. There’s no need for an investigation here,” he said.
“Thousands of Christians gathered together responsibly and peaceably to sing and pray in accordance with the First Amendment, because we are tired of government officials telling us when, where, and how we can practice our Faith.”
— Sean Feucht (@seanfeucht) October 13, 2020
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
“In unprecedented acts of government-authorized injustice, Christians are being told they cannot gather for worship, they cannot sing songs of praise, and they cannot observe church ordinances,” he wrote.
He added, “While followers of Jesus are being told we cannot worship in public spaces, violent paid rioters are taking over our streets and being given license to occupy and destroy entire sections of our cities.”
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