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SEATTLE (ChurchMilitant.com) - Christian worshippers rallied in Seattle's streets after the city refused them access to a spacious park.
The city, which has allowed Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa to violently protest since June, shut out Christians from its 21-acre Gas Works Park on Labor Day. Hundreds joined the prayer rally organized by California prayer leader Sean Feucht but did so in a nearby street owing to the park closure.
"Politicians can write press releases. They can make threats. They can shut down parks. They can put up fences," Feucht told the crowd on Monday. "We're here as citizens of America and citizens of the Kingdom of God, and we won't be silenced."
Feucht's popular West Coast prayer movement, titled "Let Us Pray," was previously scheduled to be in the park on Monday but was pre-empted by Seattle's closure, which many feel specifically targeted the group.
Feucht organized a similar rally on Capitol Hill's Cal Anderson Park. The park was next to the famous Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), which encompassed six city blocks near the capitol buildings. Democratic leaders allowed this "zone" to be controlled by BLM protesters and black-shirted Antifa members during the month of June.
In June, Seattle's Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan described the area — controlled by violent protesters — as having "a block party atmosphere." Asked how long the takeover would last, Durkan responded, "We could have the Summer of Love."
On Sept. 4, in the run-up to the Christian prayer rally, Seattle's Parkways issued a notice that the park would be closed, but only on Sept. 7, the day for which the rally was scheduled.
"Gas Works Park will be closed all day Sept. 7 due to anticipated crowding that could impact the public health of residents," read the notice. "Out of concerns for the safety of all those who visit Gas Works Park, we have opted to close the entire park for the day."
The closure was instituted Sunday evening and lasted until Tuesday morning. The worshippers were undeterred on Monday, however, and simply rallied in the streets instead.
It was reported that children sat in trees during the prayer rally while hundreds of worshippers, mostly without masks, gathered, prayed and sang.
One participant named McKenna spoke of the need to pray together in public.
"We're all getting together a group of believers," she remarked. "We're still worshipping because I feel like Christians are under a lot of persecution right now."
McKenna noted how faith and the ability to gather were being threatened.
"It's so important that we are gathering together, especially in times like this," she added.
The worshippers gathered Monday evening at Seattle's Meridian Avenue for music, singing and protesting the restrictions on religious services. Feucht has held nearly two-dozen similar gatherings across the country. He began in California after Gov. Gavin Newsom clamped down on public prayer in March, calling it "non-essential."
Feucht called out the hypocritical treatment dished out to Christian gatherings in relation to groups of violent protestors.
"They don't say the same thing about the Black Lives Matter movement. They don't say the same thing about Antifa," Feucht said. "A lot of those guys have been destroying things."