Evangelical singer and former Republican congressional hopeful Sean Feucht will host a large “worship protest” in Washington, D.C. this weekend that expects to draw 15,000 attendees to the National Mall for prayer, singing and mass baptisms.
The Sunday event is the final stop in Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour, which has brought the Christian musician and political hopeful to cities across the country during the coronavirus pandemic, in part to protest against restrictions on religious gatherings.
Shortly after Seattle officials denied his permit to host an event there last month, Feucht wrote in an op-ed published in The Federalist that he was hosting these “worship protests” in defiance of Covid restrictions because “God is moving, and our nation needs it now more than ever in my lifetime,” adding that “in major cities across America, godless politicians are adopting tactics that more closely resemble those of jihadist ayatollahs than men and women who are sworn to uphold the rule of law.”
Feucht’s tour has drawn the ire of public health officials who have said Feucht is violating coronavirus prevention rules by hosting large gatherings.
The permit for Feucht’s Sunday event, provided to NBC News by the National Park Service, lists a Covid-19 mitigation plan that includes masks and gloves for crew, sanitization of high-touch areas backstage, sanitation stations outside port-o-potties, and “a sign placed at the table where we will give away Bibles.”
There is no other mention of masks or face coverings in the permit application.
The National Park Service did not respond to a NBC News request for comment on the sufficiency of the event’s Covid-19 mitigation plan.
In an email, Susana Castillo, spokesperson for Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, said they “don’t have jurisdiction over federal property.”
Feucht did not immediately respond to a NBC News request for comment.
In a tightly edited video posted to his Twitter account Tuesday, Feucht counted down the days to the final event of his nationwide tour, which he said will be the 45th stop.
In the video, few are seen wearing masks or socially distancing.
In video after video of his recent events across the country, large crowds — all outdoors — gather closely and sing together in groups of thousands with few masks to be seen.
After holding a similar event earlier this month in Tennessee, Nashville officials vowed to issue “appropriate penalties” against Feucht, whose event seemed to ignore local coronavirus-prevention ordinances.
The Nashville Police Department did not immediately respond to a NBC news request for comment on whether any penalties were ever issued.
Another stop on Feucht’s tour was a concert at the site where George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, according to a video posted to his YouTube account.https://www.youtube.com/embed/96Ohr_tp2SM
In statements made this summer, Feucht denounced Black Lives Matter, saying in a YouTube video “the movement as a whole is a fraud and what they represent is not ‘Black Lives Matter.'”
But shortly after, Feucht elaborated in a Facebook post and said he endorsed the statement while denouncing the “organization.”
Feucht is also head of Hold The Line, which, according to its Facebook page, is “a political activist movement” for which the goal is “to engage with the church and with millennials in a way that charges them to become more politically active.”
Earlier this summer, Feucht — who has long been associated with the city of Redding, California’s Bethel Church — hosted a similar concert event under a local bridge.
Shasta County health officials issued a statement saying Feucht’s event ignored Covid-19 safety protocols because there were too many people to socially distance, “there was much physical touching” and few people wore masks.
“Anyone who attended this gathering should self-quarantine for 14 days, get tested, and monitor for symptoms,” the Shasta County Health Department memo said.
Bethel Church distanced itself from Feucht in a July statement that said his Covid-19 safety plan “did not get implemented to the level it needed to be at this gathering, and that is something that should’ve been addressed more seriously.”