Sean Feucht holds New Year's Eve concert for 2,500 worshippers in California

Anti-lockdown pastor Sean Feucht drew an estimated 2,500 worshippers to his New Year’s Eve concert in California, footage shows. 

The mostly maskless crowd gathered in the Higher Vision Church parking lot in Valencia on Thursday night just as Los Angeles county was named the epicenter of the crisis in the state.

The county has surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths, with hospitals overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with basics such as oxygen as they treat an unprecedented number of patients with respiratory issues.

The county reported 15,701 new cases on Saturday, and 138 more deaths.

Feucht started the Let Us Worship Movement in response to coronavirus lockdowns. He has been holding services across the United States throughout the pandemic.

Footage from Thursday’s event showed little social distancing and few worshipers in masks. Places of worship are allowed to gather under lockdown rules. 

Pictures from earlier in the day show worshippers at an outreach event at Echo Lake.

Feucht tweeted Sunday: ‘Remember that part when Jesus WENT INTO the leper camp, healed the leper and then commanded us all to do the same? It’s in there 3 times for good measure too. (Matt 8, Mark 1 & Luke 5).’ 

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Anti-lockdown pastor Sean Feucht drew an estimated 2,500 worshippers to his New Year's Eve concert in California, footage shows

Anti-lockdown pastor Sean Feucht drew an estimated 2,500 worshippers to his New Year’s Eve concert in California, footage shows

The mostly maskless crowd gathered in the Higher Vision Church parking lot in Valencia on Thursday night just as Los Angeles county was named the epicenter of the crisis in the state, surpassing 10,000 COVID-19 deaths

Feucht started the Let Us Worship Movement in response to coronavirus lockdowns

The mostly maskless crowd gathered in the Higher Vision Church parking lot in Valencia on Thursday night just as Los Angeles county was named the epicenter of the crisis in the state, surpassing 10,000 COVID-19 deaths

Pictures from earlier in the day show worshippers at an outreach event at Echo Lake

Pictures from earlier in the day show worshippers at an outreach event at Echo Lake

Followers of conservative pastor and singer Sean Feucht hold an outreach event at Echo Lake during a surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Los Angeles, California

Followers of conservative pastor and singer Sean Feucht hold an outreach event at Echo Lake during a surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles county was named the epicenter of the crisis in the state, surpassing 10,000 COVID-19 deaths. Feucht followers are pictured on New Year's Eve

Los Angeles county was named the epicenter of the crisis in the state, surpassing 10,000 COVID-19 deaths. Feucht followers are pictured on New Year’s Eve

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday: ‘There are constitutionally protected rights, both religion and protest, which clearly he has used and exercised, but just because we do have the right to do things, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

‘So I would encourage him first and foremost to come back, have a good concert after this pandemic is done.

‘We do not want to see this (virus) spread, and the more spread there is, the more hospitalizations, the more deaths, so if you care about human lives, and what God has given each of us, which is the power of life, please don’t do this.’ 

California has become the epicenter of the pandemic over the past few weeks with a record 585 coronavirus deaths Friday in a single day. The state Department of Public Health on Saturday reported more than 53,341 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 2.3 million.

 California has become the epicenter of the pandemic over the past few weeks with a record 585 coronavirus deaths Friday in a single day. The state Department of Public Health on Saturday reported more than 53,341 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 2.3 million.

In video posted to Feucht’s Instagram account attendees are seen without masks and packed closely together, ignoring all social distancing regulations. 

There were no reported incidents, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies told The LA Times. 

Sean Feucht has been holding services across the US throughout the pandemic

Sean Feucht has been holding services across the US throughout the pandemic

With footage showing the crowds running together, Feucht wrote: ‘This was actually my fav moment as hundreds ran to the cross giving their lives to Jesus.’

He added: ‘I refuse to allow a virus with a 99% survival rate keep me from plundering hell to populate heaven!!!’ 

Former actor turned Evangelist Kirk Cameron had earlier held a similar event Point Mugu Beach in Ventura Count.  

Feucht faced angry scenes last week when when homeless activists staged a blockade to stop his performance. Pictures from the scene show homeless people forming a blockade and arguing with the pastor’s supporters.   

On his website Feucht writes: ‘Powerful politicians and social media giants have engaged in unchartered abuses of religious liberty, silencing the faithful, banning our voices, and outright attacking our God-given right to declare His goodness.’  

He added on Facebook: ‘The freedom to worship God is the constitutional right of every American citizen and those who exercise this right should not be unfairly targeted for criticism.’   

Footage from Thursday's event showed little social distancing and few worshipers in masks. Places of worship are allowed to gather under lockdown rules

Footage from Thursday’s event showed little social distancing and few worshipers in masks. Places of worship are allowed to gather under lockdown rules

In video posted to Feucht's Instagram account attendees are seen without masks and packed closely together, ignoring all social distancing regulations

In video posted to Feucht’s Instagram account attendees are seen without masks and packed closely together, ignoring all social distancing regulations

Feucht tweeted Sunday: 'Remember that part when Jesus WENT INTO the leper camp, healed the leper and then commanded us all to do the same? It’s in there 3 times for good measure too. (Matt 8, Mark 1 & Luke 5)'

Feucht tweeted Sunday: ‘Remember that part when Jesus WENT INTO the leper camp, healed the leper and then commanded us all to do the same? It’s in there 3 times for good measure too. (Matt 8, Mark 1 & Luke 5)’

Concert attendee Heather Sheltman, of Crescent City, told CBS: ‘It doesn’t logically make sense for restaurants and grocery stores to be open but yet a church can’t be open. Like, we can’t worship.’ 

Nancy Yeakle, of Arizona, said: ‘This is something I really feel I need to be a part of and so I’m here, and we’re all gonna get the virus at some point, it’s a virus.’

John Kay, of West Hills, added: ‘I’m not very concerned. I feel that if I really need to I can wear my mask, and I also sense that there’s greater good in being here than there is being afraid of a virus.’

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station had said: ‘We are aware & will be monitoring the event.’      

The pastor and musician has held numerous events up and down the country in recent months bringing together thousands of maskless people.   

Footage of a recent event in Nashville showed thousands packed in a courthouse hosting baptisms and holding hands. 

At a Washington Prayer March event at the Lincoln Memorial in September Mike Pence made an appearance joining around 75,000 maskless worshipers. 

The same month, the Christian hosted 12,000 on the Capitol steps in Sacramento, sharing footage on social media with barely a mask in sight in the crowd. 

Followers of conservative pastor and singer Sean Feucht hold an outreach event at Echo Lake

Followers of conservative pastor and singer Sean Feucht hold an outreach event at Echo Lake

The pastor and musician has held numerous events up and down the country in recent months bringing together thousands of maskless people. Crowds are pictured Thursday

The pastor and musician has held numerous events up and down the country in recent months bringing together thousands of maskless people. Crowds are pictured Thursday 

California has become the epicenter of the pandemic over the past few weeks with a record 585 coronavirus deaths Friday in a single day. The state Department of Public Health on Saturday reported more than 53,341 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 2.3 million.

There’s been 26,357 total confirmed COVID-19 deaths in California.  More than 20,000 people were hospitalized as of Saturday with COVID-19; 4,500 of them were in intensive care, according to state records.

City employee Najee Ali attempts to hand out masks to followers of conservative pastor and singer Sean Feucht hold an outreach event at Echo Lake on Thursday

City employee Najee Ali attempts to hand out masks to followers of conservative pastor and singer Sean Feucht hold an outreach event at Echo Lake on Thursday 

Southern California funeral homes are turning away bereaved families because they're running out of space for the bodies. The head of the California Funeral Directors Association says mortuaries are being 'inundated'

Southern California funeral homes are turning away bereaved families because they’re running out of space for the bodies. The head of the California Funeral Directors Association says mortuaries are being ‘inundated’

Funeral homes in Southern California have been forced turn away grieving families as they run out of space for the bodies piling up.   

‘I’ve been in the funeral industry for 40 years and never in my life did I think that this could happen, that I’d have to tell a family, `No, we can´t take your family member,´’ said Magda Maldonado, owner of Continental Funeral Home in Los Angeles.

Continental is averaging about 30 body removals a day – six times its normal rate. Mortuary owners are calling one another to see whether anyone can handle overflow, and the answer is always the same: They’re full, too.

In order to keep up with the flood of bodies, Maldonado has rented extra 50-foot refrigerators for two of the four facilities she runs in LA and surrounding counties. 

Continental has also been delaying pickups at hospitals for a day or two while they deal with residential clients.

Bob Achermann, executive director of the California Funeral Directors Association, said that the whole process of burying and cremating bodies has slowed down, including embalming bodies and obtaining death certificates. 

Funeral homes in the hot spot of Southern California say they must turn away grieving families as they run out of space for the bodies piling up. Magda Maldonado, owner of Continental Funeral Home in Los Angeles, is pictured above at her mortuary

Funeral homes in the hot spot of Southern California say they must turn away grieving families as they run out of space for the bodies piling up. Magda Maldonado, owner of Continental Funeral Home in Los Angeles, is pictured above at her mortuary 

An empty casket is delivered amid a surge of Covid-19 deaths to the Continental Funeral Home Thursday in East Los Angeles. The funeral home currently has about 150 families awaiting services for their loved ones

An empty casket is delivered amid a surge of Covid-19 deaths to the Continental Funeral Home Thursday in East Los Angeles. The funeral home currently has about 150 families awaiting services for their loved ones

During normal times, cremation might happen within a day or two; now it takes at least a week or longer. 

Achermann said that in the southern part of the state, ‘every funeral home I talk to says, “We’re paddling as fast as we can.”‘

‘The volume is just incredible and they fear that they won´t be able to keep up,’ he said. ‘And the worst of the surge could still be ahead of us.’

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows the U.S. passed 350,000 deaths early Sunday morning. More than 20 million people in the country have been infected. 

The U.S. has begun using two coronavirus vaccines to protect health care workers and nursing home residents and staff but the rollout of the inoculation program has been criticized as being slow and chaotic.

Multiple states have reported a record number of cases over the past few days, including North Carolina and Arizona. Mortuary owners in hard-hit Southern California say they’re being inundated with bodies.

The U.S. by far has reported the most deaths from COVID-19 in the world, followed by Brazil, which has reported more than 195,000 deaths.       

source: dailymail.co.uk

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