The scandal-plagued Hillsong Church is back in hot water for exploiting a COVID exemption that Australian religious institutions can use.
The New South Wales Ministry of Health has reprimanded this megachurch for allowing young parishioners, from the New South Wales Ministry of Health to sing and dance at its annual youth camp.
As a precautionary measure, singing and dancing are prohibited in New South Wales public venues. However, religious institutions are exempt.
However, footage recently posted to Hillsong’s social media accounts of the camp show people doing much more than gathering for prayer, which was all the exemption was intended to protect.
According to The Guardian, instead, videos of teenagers dancing to non-devotional music were shown.
“While the order does not apply to religious services, it does apply to major recreation facilities and 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,”According to the Guardian, Brad Hazzard, New South Wales’s health minister, stated in a statement Thursday evening.
“Singing and dancing in hospitality venues and nightclubs is deemed high risk due to increased movement and mingling within and across these venues, the influence of alcohol consumption, and the removal of masks in these settings to consume food and drink,” an NSW Health spokesperson explained to the Australian Tuesday of the rule’s logic. “People attending religious services generally remain in fixed positions and masks are mandatory for these indoor gatherings.”
Hillsong spokesperson said that the program was not a secular dance romp when the Guardian reached out to it.
“These events are our annual high school-aged youth camps, and are not similar to a music festival in any way,”The spokesperson said so. “Outdoor Christian services are held during the camp but these are only a small part of the program… and any singing is only a small part of each service (a video circulating on social media today reflects a few minutes of this part of the program).”
Hillsong did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.