CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Cleveland Metroparks issued a citation to an organizer of a religious event for holding a concert without a permit at Edgewater Park Thursday.
Cleveland Metroparks officials said about 600 people attended the event.
“The event was not permitted by Cleveland Metroparks,” a statement from a spokesperson with Cleveland Metroparks states. “Kurt Klingelhofer came forward as the event organizer taking responsibility for the concert. He was warned and issued a citation for not obtaining the required permit to hold a concert.”
The citation is punishable by a $150 fine for the first offense and a $1000 fine for the second offense.
We requested a statement from Unity Revival Movement, the organization behind the event, and received this statement from Sean Feucht.
“As follower of Jesus, I believe that God has called Christians to gather together and worship Him,” Feucht said. “The church has done so for over 2000 years amidst pandemics and persecution, but now we face a unique situation in our country where politicians are seeking to ban religious gatherings. They want to stop us from gathering together and worshipping. Politicians who turn a blind eye and even encourage violent protests, looters, and arson, throw the full weight of the government at us Christians. It’s not right. The level of persecution we are facing for merely exercising our faith is unprecedented in our country’s history.”
Many people living near there said they were concerned because such a large group gathered during the COVID-19 crisis. Several people said those in attendance did not appear to be wearing masks or social distancing.
Ohio’s COVID -19 recommendations say gatherings should be limited to close friends and family and masks should be worn.
The Cleveland Metroparks police report states the organizers told officers the event was a “prayer/ protest” so they did not believe they needed a permit.
Officers gave the organizers an option to not bring the musical instruments to the event or receive a citation. The organizers chose to bring their instruments and received a citation, the report states.
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