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Hillsong Ordered By NSW Health To Cease Masklesss Singing And Dancing At Youth Camp

Megachurch Hillsong has been ordered by NSW Health to cease singing and dancing at their annual Summer youth camp, currently taking place outside of Newcastle after a public outcry in response to videos posted online of hundreds of maskless teenagers crammed under a large tent for daily celebratory worship sessions.

Videos posted to Instagram by the church also showed parishioners dancing to pop music that was non-devotional (i.e. not worship music), which has been viewed by the community as a breach of current health restrictions, which ban dancing and singing in all indoor and outdoor settings until January 27th.

While religious groups are exempt from certain restrictions, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed that the actions of the camp were in breach of current protocols.

“Singing and dancing at a major recreational facility are in breach of the public health order,” said the Minister in a statement.

“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.”

NSW police also issued a statement saying it would “liaise with organisers” to “ensure future compliance with the public health orders after NSW Health deemed the location to be a major recreational facility.”

The camp has been viewed by some as akin to a music festival, prompting outcry within the arts sector in light of a spate of festival cancellations in recent days due to the new restrictions.

Despite this, some venues have rebranded as churches for some cheeky Sunday gigs.

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