As many Churches across Australia remain shutdown, forced by the government under threats of harsh fines and arrest, megachurch leader Brian Houston is leading the charge to have restrictions eased.
Houston, the prosperity-peaching pastor and serial bible-twister who leads Hillsong Church has been speaking out against Australia’s harsh and draconian shutdown laws, which have been some of the strictest in the world.
According to the Daily Mail, “Houston has been inundated with support since venting his outrage over the latest changes,” saying:
I think people are listening. Maybe the change is coming. I know the Anglican Archbishop and the Catholic Archbishop has been speaking to the government. I think that changes are coming but they need to come.
Some people wouldn’t feel ready to come back yet, wouldn’t feel safe. Other people are dying to get back there…Mental health, as we all know, and health generally, well-being is a big, big thing. Isolation doesn’t help that at all. Church, part of what we do, is community and connection.
While restrictions have had different levels of severity depending on the region, in some places they have been absolutely monstrous, particularly in Victoria, where Premier Daniel Andrews holds court.
To get an idea of how severe things have been, even as of last week in some places you cannot travel more than 3 miles away from your house except for work and shopping for essentials, the government uses drones to patrol the skies, all people must wear facemasks outside, people cannot spend more than two hours outside one’s home each day, and only a maximum of two guests are allowed to visit once a day.
It’s in this oppressive spirit that Churches are still locked down in Victoria, with Premier Daniel Andrews being taken to task by critics for saying that churches pose a special risk to COVID spread because they are dirty and people sing in them, and for this reason should remain closed. This of course despite the fact that regional pubs can host 40 people inside.
When pressed why Churches are being treated differently than drinkers, Andrews replied:
Do they sing at a Pub? Is a church cleaned to the standard that a pub may be? I know that there are many arrangements where it will be someone from the parish who out of the goodness of their heart will clean the church. It may not even be a paid thing….a heavily regulated environment, a licensed environment is different to one that is not. That is pretty plain…
With a population of over 25 Million people, Australia has recorded 27,430 cases and 905 deaths.