Sean Feaucht
Christian musician Sean Feucht, right, prays with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., left, during a rally at the National Mall in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Sean Feucht’s ‘Finale’ Worship Protest on the National Mall Draws Thousands

By Jack Jenkins

Christian musician Sean Feucht led thousands in worship on the National Mall Sunday night, framing his performance as a protest against restrictions on churches. Feucht, a volunteer worship leader at the controversial Bethel Church in Redding, CA, also voiced opposition to abortion and celebrated the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Throngs of worshipers braved colder temperatures and drizzles of rain to attend the event. Yet neither the crowd nor Feucht appeared to be deterred by the weather.

Billed as the culmination of Feucht’s nationwide “Let Us Worship” tour, the concert was originally focused on voicing frustration with restrictions on houses of worship during the pandemic. Feucht’s performances have frequently featured large crowds singing in tight groups without masks, flouting local guidelines and the recommendations of health experts.

However, Sunday’s event also highlighted a different political drama unfolding in the U.S. Capitol building behind Feucht the same day — the Senate’s procedural vote on whether to place Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the U.S. Supreme Court. (The vote passed, and Barrett was formally confirmed on Monday.)

Thousands attend a “Let Us Worship” tour concert by Christian musician Sean Feucht on the National Mall. (RNS photo by Jack Jenkins)

Feucht and other speakers at the event repeatedly drew connections between Barrett’s nomination and the pro-life movement. Feucht shouted to the crowd: “We’ve been praying for this since 1973” — a reference to the year the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade and legalized abortion nationwide.

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“Tonight is going to be a night where things shift in America for the unborn!” Feucht said, as the crowd cheered in response.

Barrett, whose faith has garnered widespread attention, reportedly signed on to an advertisement in 2006 opposing “abortion on demand.”

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who also addressed the crowd on Sunday, said he had just voted to further Barrett’s nomination process. He then led the masses in prayer for her.

“Huge privilege to be on the Mall tonight with thousands & thousands of Christians gathered to worship & pray,” Hawley, who attends services at a congregation affiliated with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, later tweeted.

Feucht, in turn, led the crowd in prayer for Hawley, calling on God to elevate “men and women of faith” into positions of political power.

Jentezen Franklin, an adviser to Trump who pastors the Free Chapel in Georgia, also delivered a seven-minute sermon at the event.

Several in the crowd wore “Make America Great Again” hats — a reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan — whereas others held signs reading “Jesus 2020.”

There was noticeable variability regarding mask use: While many people near the back of the crowd wore masks, most attendees packed tightly together near the stage did not.

A woman named Katherine, who traveled from Virginia to attend the event, was not wearing a mask. She argued that “there have been demonstrations all over this country, and there have not been any linked cases to COVID.”

Sean Feucht
Thousands braved chilly, wet weather to worship in front of the U.S. Capitol. (RNS photo by Jack Jenkins)

Meanwhile, Justin, a younger man who attended the event with Katherine to celebrate her birthday but also did not list his last name, was wearing a mask.

“I live in Philly, and I know people who’ve got COVID,” he said. “So, personally, I just stayed away.”

Katherine said her main motivation for being there was to worship.

“All the stuff going on in this nation right now — I mean, we need prayer and we need to worship the Lord,” she said.

Karen Arteaga, who traveled from Oregon to attend the event, agreed.

“We’re just here to pray for our nation,” said Arteaga, who sat in a lawn chair in the back and wore a mask.

She was one of many who traveled from out of town for the event. Keira and Damion Taylor said they flew in from Billings, Montana, where they own a Christian coffee shop.

“I think what Sean Feucht is doing is raising up leaders that are just going to be a voice in America today,” Damion said. “That is a voice that’s just glorifying to the Kingdom of God, and that’s something that we can be proud of and that’s honoring the Lord.”

Keira added: “We’re just here praying for our nation and asking God for revival and new life.”

Their companion, Alladin Bear, also resonated with the evening’s political focus.

“The fact that they’re closing down churches, that just doesn’t make any sense to me at all,” he said. “That just gives us an opportunity to then stand up for what we believe. I think it’s really special, actually.”

Bear also saw a spiritual connection between the event and the vote to put Barrett on the court.

“It almost seems symbolic, for sure.”

Josh Wade, who is from Washington, D.C., and is a member of a local evangelical church, stood alone near the back of the crowd next to a tree throughout the concert. When approached for an interview, he quickly put on a mask before explaining he attended the event out of a desire to return to in-person worship.

“During the pandemic, I’ve really been feeling this draw that in-person Christian practices are important,” he said, noting his church has resumed Sunday worship at limited capacity and with the use of masks. “COVID involves risk. But I started to feel this thing inside me that these Christian, in-person, community worship practices may actually be worth a degree of risk.”

When asked Wade about some of the political statements at the event, he shrugged.

“I guess you can’t really escape the political aspect of Christians gathering in large numbers without masks on the Mall this close to an election,” he said. “However, that’s really not what brought me here. I like talking about politics and thinking about politics, but I’d probably pursue my political hobbies elsewhere.”

Jack Jenkins is an award-winning journalist and national reporter for the Religion News Service. National reporter Emily McFarlan Miller also contributed to this report.

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17 thoughts on “Sean Feucht’s ‘Finale’ Worship Protest on the National Mall Draws Thousands”

  1. Mixed feelings about this. Certainly Christians gathering for the purpose of prayer for our country and leadership and worship, especially in these times we find ourselves, is of extreme importance and not to be taken lightly. Those that traveled long distances and incurred expense for this purpose are to be commended. However, that vicious invisible enemy, Covid19, is still out there and does not discriminate against anyone, anywhere, or at any time. The recent spikes in America in contracting the virus should be of great concern to everybody. I would’ve felt a whole lot better, even if there was no social distancing, if I saw everybody wearing a mask. Just makes good sense to do this.

      1. John, you’re another one that doesn’t get it. Amazing, truly amazing. However, maybe not as I’ve seen many posts on this website of people who refuse the way wisdom, understanding, and common sense. Being adults and making their own decisions is not the issue. The issue is doing what is right best in good, for others as well as themselves, considering the danger of this Covid 19 virus. Your short quip falls flat in that regard.

        1. Sams,
          Apparently thinking for ones self is no longer allowed. If I want to go to Burger King and order 40 hamburgers and eat myself to death that’s my business, not yours. If I want to go out in public and risk contacting the flu I suppose that’s also my personal business, and not yours.

          The people who have gathered understand the risk, and they made their choice. Which is not your choice, but they are free to do that in our country.

          If you want to be the king of the world and tell everyone what to do, good luck, you will always be met with resistance.

          If you can’t handle that go back to your basement until this is over. Everyone else has a life to live, how they personally and freely choose.

          1. Well John, looks like I’ve drawn some thunder! But no matter. People such as yourself, the “rebel without a clue type” is the very reason we have such an enormous uptick in the spread of this deadly virus in our country right now. Taking free, common sense, expert medical advice, to at least slow down the virus until an effective vaccine is found, certainly doesn’t seem like rocket science to me, especially when one considers the other person’s health and safety,for the time being, above your own. Deliberately contracting the flu (and have no conscience about spreading it to other people) is your personal business and not mine? People who gather at their own risk with no regard of spreading the virus and they’re free to do that in our country regardless of the consequences to other people? Everyone else has a life to live how they personally and freely choose, again, regardless of the consequences to other people? After all, this is the United States of America and we can do whatever we want? That is the most reckless, irresponsible, lamest crap I have ever heard. The basement awaits you, not me.

  2. I’ve been following Sean’s activity for some time through his various social media accounts, and am wondering where your information was acquired that stated this particular gathering was billed as a “finale.” He is still conducting rallies, and has some scheduled this weekend.

  3. To be pro-life is not a political idea. It is a Christian idea. The mention of related events in the context of praying should be viewed as done in the spirit of thanksgiving.

    Nobody dares to criticize the crowds that protested or rioted for other purposes. Why do we always want to find faults with people who gather to worship? Yes, they can exercise caution. But even with the very very low percentage of people who tested positive at some big church, that does not prove that they all caught it in the church. And not every positive test results in a “case” of sickness.

    Yes, exercise caution. But we can direct our attention to more major issues facing our age. And we surely need to pray and repent from our sins and pride so this land can be healed. God hears humble and sincere prayers even if we may not like the way or the style some people pray. It’s a good thing that God does not treat us with partiality.

      1. I tried to access the link, but did not want to sign up in order to read that opinion piece. So no comment here about that. At present I prefer not to pursue that article.

        When Jesus was in his mother’s womb, Mary visited Elizabeth who was carrying baby John the Baptist in her womb. Baby John leaped with joy when Mary greeted Elizabeth. (Luke 1:41-44) Jesus was the Son of God who became Son of Man. He experienced babyhood in the womb, too. I am sure He did not think a baby was just a lifeless fetus.

        Every human being is designed to have a soul from the beginning. On this topic, words fail if we only argue with the mind without the Spirit and the heart…

        Thanks for your reply.

  4. I can’t speak for this particular gathering , but a lot of them come off as patriotic pep rallies and concerts. It might be better to gather with the local body of Christ and pray for your town’s pastors and leaders.

    I would like to see Christians get untangled from political parties; quit mixing patriotism with Christianity and get about the business of knowing God, learning how to stand in the face of persecution and preaching the gospel. I’m thrilled that ACB has been sworn in but it’s only a temporary victory. My guess is that we’ll look back on this year and see it as the calm before the storm.

    We’re facing an unprecedented opportunity to participate in the last day’s in-gathering of millions into the Kingdom. But it will come through suffering. I’ve had many discussions with families and friends recently and we all agree that the church is simply not ready.

    1. Yes, we need to pray – in the closet, with local body, as well as in settings where believers from many churches can pray with one heart and one spirit.

      The spiritual warfare is fierce. No one can stand alone. We all seek to follow God’s path of light, and flee the darkness. There are many real signs of the last days nearing, we need to be light and salt on earth more than ever before.

  5. John, you couldn’t be more wrong. I have absolutely no need to control others, nor do I want to. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. And I have seen and heard far too many people who name the name of Christ, speak and act in such an irresponsible, unwise manner about this covert virus curse. John MacArthur, for example at Grace Community Church, refuses, I repeat, refuses to take any of the protocols recommended by a plethora of medical experts seriously, thereby putting his entire 7000 member congregation at risk of serious illness and even death. And that’s just one example of many many foolish responses I have seen and listened to over these last nine months or so. This is a highly contagious disease and has to date sickened millions and millions of people throughout the world and killed over 1.5 million in the process. I ask you, does freedom and liberty in our country mean acting in such an irresponsible, reckless manner, as to put an entire nation, in jeopardy of such a horrible contagious disease, again because we in America are free to do anything we choose, even if it means taking that liberty and freedom out of context, as it relates to the health of the people of our nation? I think it’s an easy question to answer.

    1. I’ve been following your commentary with interest, and am wondering whether or not you’ve personally experienced loss due to this particular disease. It certainly does appear as though you are advocating for a more cautious approach, and I’m sure your personal experiences/perspectives have a great deal to do with influencing this ongoing discussion you’re having.

    2. I don’t.

      And that’s what makes this country great, you can live your way, I can’t live mine. Stay out of my business I’ll stay out of yours. You need to learn that Sams.

      1. Still don’t get it I see. Well, there’s still hope for you, maybe. May the Lord bless you and keep you. And I really mean that.

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