Baptism service broken up by police for defying lockdown rules in Great Britain
British police intervened with a baptism service held in England because the religious event had more people in attendance than allowed by recently implemented lockdown restrictions. The London-based congregation called The Angel Church held a baptism ceremony last Sunday led by Senior Pastor Regan King at which around thirty people tried to attend.
Once alerted to the event, police officers stood at the entrance of the church and prevented people from entering. However, they did allow fifteen people to remain indoors, according to Sky News. Police spoke with King about the event, with the pastor reportedly agreeing to stop the indoor service and instead switch to a socially-distanced, outdoor gathering.
For his part, King has been a staunch critic of the national lockdown, arguing in a Facebook post that he believes “it was wrong for churches to be deemed non-essential and to be forced into lockdown.”
On the 31st of October British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that there would be a second national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic from the 5th of November and ending on the 2nd of December. Places of worship were among the entities required to close, with exemptions given for assorted activities like private prayer, funerals, and formal childcare.
News of the second lockdown was criticised by many faith leaders, who argued that their worship services take sufficient precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.