Churches rebrand as ‘family-friendly’ strip clubs to get around Covid-19 rules

Two megachurches have continued to defy Covid-19 lockdown rules and carried on indoor worship services – after rebranding themselves as "strip clubs".

Pastors at both Awaken Church in San Diego and Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California, the US, have declared their places of worships are now strip clubs, to allow themselves to remain open under the latest lockdown law.

The rules permit businesses like supermarkets and petrol stations to keep their doors open as well as strip clubs. Churches, though, are not allowed to stay open.

In the video shared by pastor Jurgen Matthesius of Awaken Church, he and a colleague perform a 30-second awkward dance on stage and declare the church an "Awaken Family Friendly Strip Club".

The pair take off their blazers and throw them into to the audience before they move on to remove their ties.

A man is heard counting down the seconds as he says they have to perform for a minimum of 30 seconds in order to call it official.

In the post, Jurgen said that the church "strip club" is "where we strip the devil of his hold, power and authority over peoples' lives".

Godspeak's pastor, Rob McCoy, made a similar declaration, attacking so-called government "tyranny", according to local media WIBC.

"Those that are abused are being quarantined with their abusers," he said. "The elderly are lonely and isolated for no reason.

"No one gets to attend the funerals of their loved ones … it's our responsibility to support folks."

The rebranding came after San Diego’s Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil last month ordered a temporary restraining order on the state’s cease-and-desist order to keep strip clubs closed.

He said that strip clubs must be allowed to provide live entertainment to adults.

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