Hillsong Church is under fire after holding a three-day “youth summercamp” event in Newcastle this week that saw hundreds of believers dancing to live music with no social distancing despite the recent ban on such activities by the NSW Government.
The church could sidestep the latest changes to public health orders due to it being a religious service. But the flagrant hypocrisy at a time when music festivals across the state were being forced to cancel caused an immediate backlash.
NSW Health yesterday requested Hillsong “immediately stop singing and dancing” at the event.
“This event is clearly in breach of both the spirit and intent of the order, which is in place to help keep the community safe,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
But Hillsong has remained unrepentant, saying its annual high school “summercamp” was “not similar to a music festival in any way”.
“We follow strict COVID procedures and adhere to government guidelines,” the church said in a statement.