Los Angeles activists say Sean Feucht is waging “organic warfare” on homeless outreach occasions
LOS ANGELES (RNS) – Los Angeles activists hold trailers Wednesday evening and New Years Eve to prevent Christian recording artist Sean Feucht from holding outreach events in two LA homeless communities, including the 54-block area of Skid Row.
Stephen “Cue” Jn-Marie, who founded the denomination known as “The Row” or “The Church Without Walls” on Skid Row, and Pete White – founder of the Los Angeles Community Action Network – are among the organizers attending the Blockade.
In a statement on Tuesday (December 29), Jn-Marie and White said that “Feucht is waging a biological war against a community he believes are defenseless.”
“He will soon find that this is not the case if he continues down this path,” the statement said.
CONNECTED: Homeless advocates organize against Sean Feucht’s upcoming outing in Skid Row
Moist ‘events in Skid Row and Echo Park from December 30th to 31st are part of his national Let Us Worship tour protesting COVID-19 restrictions. The two days of public relations will culminate with a New Year’s Eve party from 9 p.m. to midnight in the parking lot of the Higher Vision Church in the city of Valencia, more than 30 miles away.
It is unclear what Feucht means by “making contact” with homeless communities and what is planned for the events taking place there. He did not respond to requests for comment from the Religion News Service.
His music tour, which Feucht calls the #letusworship movement, has been criticized by health officials and religious leaders alike for attracting thousands of viewers and worshipers, many of whom ignored social distancing guidelines and health instructions that require masks.
Elena Stern, a spokeswoman for the city’s public works department, told RNS on December 22 that the city had not received an application or issued a permit for any of the planned events. Other Moist events in Seattle; Nashville, Tennessee; Washington, DC; and other US cities also met resistance from local authorities and scattered counter-protests.
Moist’s New Years Eve events happen as Los Angeles County sees an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Jn-Marie told RNS that he sent Feucht a Facebook message on December 21st to express his concern over his plans to visit Skid Row. By December 29, Feucht had not responded.
In a Dec. 29 Zoom appeal hosted by the California Poor People’s Campaign, religious leaders urged LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Los Angeles County Board Chair Hilda Solis to immediately take action against Feucht to hold publicity out.
In a statement presented to CBS News Los Angeles, Solis said she was concerned about the events and asked the county health department to look into the matter.
Rev. Beth Johnson, Minister at Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, criticized Feucht’s impending events as “exploitative”.
“For someone who pretends to care for their community or for people in need of religion, Sean Feucht is actually exploiting communities,” said Johnson.
For Feucht, visiting Skid Row is “synonymous with abuse,” she said.
“To get to someone, someone whose neighborhood you can’t leave is like walking into someone’s house,” added Johnson.
Jn-Marie and White said they had set up hand-washing stations, provided hygiene products, and doubled the promotion of mask-wearing. While the community welcomes food, clothing, toiletries, and other supplies, Jn-Marie says Skid Row doesn’t need “people coming for a photo op.”
“We worked to protect the community,” he said.
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