Hillsong Youth has been ripped a new one after it held a music festival during New South Wales' rules on no singing and dancing.
Hospitality venues have been devastated by the news they can't allow patrons to bust a move on the D floor or belt out a note.
However, under the rules that have been brought in until January 27, churches have been given an exemption to permit singing or dancing.
Footage posted on social media show Hillsong Youth's Wildlife Summer camp took that exemption to the brink.
Attendees were seen jumping around in a tightly packed mosh crowd, many of whom weren't wearing masks, while performers blasted Christian and secular music on stage.
It's a slap in the face to other artists and events who have had gigs and festivals cancelled at the last minute by the state government's rules.
People have slammed Hillsong on social media for not reading the room.
NSW Health has now condemned the youth Christian camp and said: "Singing and dancing at a major recreation facility is in breach of the Public Health Order."
The state's health minister, Brad Hazzard, added: "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."
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp accused Hillsong of having 'pure arrogance' to host the event in spite of the new rules.
"It's very, very disappointing, after we've had two local music festivals cancelled," he said.
"This is the exact behaviour that health experts have deemed too risky at the moment, yet the organisers of this event seem to feel it's absolutely fine for them to do so.
"This is an absolute slap in the face to the people that have lost work as a result of the current rules."
Hillsong has defended itself against the criticism.
In a statement to the ABC, the church said the camp follows 'strict COVID procedures and adhere[s] to government guidelines'.
It added that 'any singing is only a small part of each service' and that they provided 'rapid antigen tests, use of face masks, deep cleaning and sanitisation'.
Featured Image Credit: Hillsong Youth/Instagram
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