Australian police have criticized Sydney’s church on Monday for ignoring the city’s Kovid-19 lockdown by serving 60 people in an infectious hotspot.
The Church is part of the Embassy of Christ, headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, which has a record of spreading Kovid-19 conspiracy theories.
After residents hinted on Sunday, police seized Christ’s Embassy Sydney Church and fined the institution $ 5,000 ($ 3,600) and 30 parishioners $ 1,000.
Australian media quoted a sermon circulated on Facebook by the church in Blacktown, Sydney’s western region on Sunday: “In Jesus ‘name, we deny any closure in our cities. We declare closures in Jesus’ name.
Sydney Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“It’s always discouraging and frustrating when you see people take shamelessly to oppose the things we know, contradict what we know, and keep people out of the hospital,” said Gladys Berejiklian of New York State. South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital – said at a news conference.
“That’s important: keeping people out of the hospital, making sure we keep people as safe and healthy as possible. And we know the vaccine has a very big impact on it.”
All Sydneyers are currently under orders to stay home as Australia’s largest city struggles to contain a delta transformation outbreak that exceeds 800 new cases a day.
Residents are only allowed to leave the house to shop for essential items, for sports, for health issues or for a handful of reasons.
State Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Verbois said the church service was a “disappointing” event and “undoubtedly angered a lot of people.”
Monday’s worship service videos are not available on the Christ Embassy Sydney Facebook page.
Sydney Morrisons Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed a video explaining that churches can broadcast or stream services in April 2020, and that people presenting such services must follow work ethic and social alienation protocols.
Rules have been tightened to ban all personal services.
The Worldwide Christ Embassy is led by Chris Oyakhilom, described on his website as a teacher, teacher, television host and author of the “Rhapsody of Reality”. He is also president of LoveWorld Inc., a religious broadcast and streaming network.
British Broadcasting Regulator Ofcom ruled in April that Loveworld Ltd, affiliated with the Embassy of Christ, violated the country’s broadcast code for the third time by making false and potentially harmful statements about the coronavirus epidemic and vaccine.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published by the syndicated feed.)