10,000 attend Nashville revival, worship leader says. Now officials are investigating
A weekend worship event in Nashville, Tennessee drew up to 10,000 guests - many of whom, according to the organizers, were not wearing masks or were socially distant. Local media reports and videos were shared online.
It is not the first Christian resuscitation to do this.
Worship leader Sean Feucht has hosted a number of resuscitations across the country despite warnings from local health officials, Business Insider reported in August. The Nashville event was one of six events he has planned for October, including a Monday night revival in Charleston, South Carolina, according to Feucht's website.
"A police officer who came with me tonight said he estimated 9,000-10,000 believers filled the steps of the courthouse in downtown Nashville!" Feucht said on Twitter Sunday. "We've had THREE venue changes and so much resistance, but the Church is not being silenced!"
Health officials investigate
The Moist Revival has drawn hundreds, if not thousands, of up-close participants without concern for local and state health guidelines designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. A 15-second video clip Feucht posted on Monday of the Nashville event showed a crowd in a crowd singing outside the courthouse.
Makayla McKibben, 23, who was attending the resuscitation, told The Tennessean that some of the people in the crowd chose to socially distance themselves and wear masks while others didn't.
She called the event a form of "worship protest."
"The state of the world is insane right now," McKibben said, according to the newspaper. "I think the only way we can see healing through this is through Jesus. It was a picture of oneness. Having an event like last night and taking a stand as a church - people will see that. I want to be a part of it be. "
Historian Larry Eskridge told the Washington Post that Feucht is taking advantage of people's desire to go outside and be in fellowship with one another, especially conservative Christians who believe that God will protect them in a pandemic.
"The provisions of the meeting are considered a violation and insult to God," Eskridge said, according to The Post. "To disturb the resuscitation is to disturb God's work."
But the local health authorities disagreed.
Metro Nashville Health Department said in a statement on Facebook it was investigating "the event that took place outside Metro Court House on Sunday." Officials said Feucht neither had a permit nor applied to the city.
"We have worked very hard to slow the spread of COVID by taking a measured approach to protecting the community," the statement said. "The health department is very concerned about the actions taken at the event and we are investigating and will impose appropriate penalties on the organizer."
Feucht - who once prayed with President Donald Trump in the Oval office, according to Fox News - has been criticized by health experts who said his resuscitation could "become COVID-19 super-spreader locations," Business Insider reported.
The California-based worship and worship leader is a "missionary, artist, public speaker, author, activist, and founder of several worldwide movements," according to his website. After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress for the Republican ticket, the Religion News Service reported that Feucht started the #LetUsWorship movement when state and local health officials closed churches during the coronavirus pandemic.
The media broadcaster described its events as "a mix of Christian concert, healing service, guerrilla street theater and spectator mosh pit, (and) with the kind of public chant that is banned under many COVID-19 regulations."
Historian and writer Randall Stephens told The Post that Feucht fits into "a larger movement in hippie Christianity where people dress casually and get rid of whatever seems institutional."
Feucht has also directed its events towards cities ravaged by racist unrest, including Kenosha, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon - a move protesters said had compromised their anti-racism messages, the Post reported.
"I came out against BLM (as an organization, not a statement) last week and was blown up online by enemies and friends alike," Feucht said in a June 10th on Facebook. “This is not a moment at all when I told you because I believe the Church is sincere in its desire to stand up against racism and injustice. But we cannot allow our God-given empathy to be hijacked by a dark movement with hidden agendas. "
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