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Melbourne Pastor Defies State-Wide Lockdown To Hold Religious Service

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Melbourne Pastor Defies State-Wide Lockdown To Hold Religious Service

A police investigation has been launched after a religious service was held in Melbourne over the weekend while Victoria was in Stage 4 lockdown.

Under the lockdown rules, religious ceremonies were permitted to go ahead, but they weren't allowed to host congregants and instead would have to broadcast the service online.

However, Pastor Paul Furlong from the Christian Revival Church in Narre Warren decided to crack on with a service on Sunday.

Around 50 people attended the 90-minute service and virtually no onw was was seen wearing face masks at the event and people were allowed to sing and sit next to each other.

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Despite the threat of copping a huge fine for hosting the service, Pastor Furlong claimed he didn't have to answer to the rules because he was following the law of God.

Police officers attended the church in Melbourne's south-east and allowed the ceremony to finish before questioning the religious leader.

When confronted about why he was allegedly breaking the rules, Pastor Furlong didn't hold back.

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"Where is the pandemic? It's not about COVID. It's about government control and removing our freedoms" he said, according to 7News.

"I guess the question is do I obey God, or do I obey man? Because I have chosen to obey God, I will continue to obey God, so the doors of my church will remain open," he said.

Credit: @9NewsMelb/Twitter
Credit: @9NewsMelb/Twitter

He turned his attention to the police officers that rocked up and claimed holding the service was an essential part of his religion.

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"If we do not do it, we disobey God. And that is sin," the pastor told officers. "Are we going to obey God? Or are we going to obey man?"

Police have since issued the pastor with an infringement notice for hosting the service.

A spokesman for Victoria Police said in a statement: "There were also several people seated at an adjoining cafe connected with the religious group.

"People dispersed without incident upon police arrival. The investigation into the incident remains ongoing with inquiries being made in relation to possible incitement offences."

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Police are also exploring the option of fining the people who attended the event as well.

Featured Image Credit: 7News

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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