Great Britain

Pastor says he’ll still host ‘Woodstock-like’ Easter event amid coronavirus lockdown despite Florida preacher’s arrest

A PASTOR vows to hold a "Woodstock"-like Easter service amid the coronavirus lockdown - even though a preacher pal was busted for similar gatherings.

Evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth says he is planning to hold an "outdoor Easter blowout service."

The announcement comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the US surpassed 180,000.

"You can come from all over, like Woodstock," Shuttlesworth said in a video posted on Twitter today.

"And we're going to gather and lift up Jesus Christ."

The massive invite comes after megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested for ignoring lockdown rules and holding two packed Sunday services in Florida.

Howard-Browne mocked the coronavirus and vowed to "only close his church for the Rapture."

The two pastors are reportedly close friends.

"I'm not ashamed that Dr. Rodney got arrested," Shuttlesworth said.

"I am ashamed that when they wanted to arrest preachers for having church in the entirety of the state, there was only one they come for."

Co-founder of The River at Tampa Bay Church, Howard-Browne posted $500 bail and was freed from Hernando County Jail, according to Tampa Bay Times.

The prison's records showed that he was arrested for violating Hillsborough County’s stay-at-home order.

This was after he allegedly hosted an unlawful assembly and broke strict quarantine orders during a public health emergency.

Howard-Browne had said his church would "only close for the Rapture" because it wasn't for "pansies."

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told reporters that Howard-Browne had been warned through his attorneys that he was flouting rules activated to save lives.

It was not immediately clear where Shuttlesworth, who is based in Pennsylvania, would hold his service.

Experts fear that up to 200,000 people may die from the coronavirus.

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