More than 100 people are facing charges after police broke up a church service in Germany over allegations that the gathering was defying coronavirus restrictions, numerous sources reported.
The church service in North Rhine-Westphalia had roughly 150 attendees, most of which are facing charges for breaking restrictions on congregating, social distancing, and communal singing, according to Deutsche Welle.
Police broke up a church service of around 150 worshippers in Germany.
A police statement said more than 100 attendees were facing charges for violating coronavirus restrictions on congregating, social distancing and communal singing. https://t.co/vR4FEjI1Cp
— Thomas Sparrow (@Thomas_Sparrow) January 4, 2021
People in the gathering were not wearing masks and were sometimes singing, police said. Children were also present at the service. The organizers of the service may face steep fines for breaking Germany’s pandemic rules, including a gathering limit of 20 people for indoor events and obedience to hygiene and social distancing protocol.
Some Germans protested stricter coronavirus restrictions announced in November, an event that resulted in more than 100 arrests as police used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
The protests followed debate over a bill that later passed, which ultimately codified the government’s legal right to issue social distancing rules and require masks in public, among other restrictions. (RELATED: Police Reportedly Spray Anti-Lockdown Protesters With Water Cannons In Berlin, Germany)
The demonstrators accused the government of using the pandemic to limit basic rights and establish a “corona dictatorship,” according to CBS News.
The German government and 16 states in the country agreed to extend the lockdown that has been in place since Dec. 16 until Jan. 31 after the country recorded a record number of more than 1,000 daily deaths from the coronavirus in the last week of December.