Albuquerque churches hold mass gatherings for Christmas service

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two major Albuquerque churches held services celebrating the holiday with few face masks and little, to no, social distancing. The videos of these services are circulating online and now New Mexicans are outraged.

State officials have been warning people to stay home and not gather during Christmas. Now, photos and videos show both Legacy and Calvary churches held big services for the holiday.

On social media, Calvary Church thanked everyone who came to the Christmas Eve service. Photos show the room was packed with not much social distancing. While some people were wearing masks, it didn’t include everyone.

Also, Legacy Church posted a video of their Christmas service this year. Once again, a crowded room with what looks like hundreds of people, with limited social distancing and masks.

KRQE News 13 was able to grab video of the service from the church’s website before they took it down Sunday. People on social media this weekend were quick to put the church on blast. “To see so many people in one room, disregarding any health measure any precautions, it felt disrespectful to my community,” says Cassius Money.

Because Bernalillo County is still in the red zone, that means places of worship are only allowed to hold services at 25-percent of their maximum capacity. While it appears both churches far exceeded that limit, it’s unclear just how many people attended.

Back in July, a federal judge shot down Legacy’s request to boost indoor capacity from 25-percent capacity to 50-percent. Legacy Church provided KRQE News 13 with this statement about their Christmas Day service:

“We have taken the pandemic seriously from the start, and have prudent measures in place. But when governments exceed their constitutional authority and contradict what we are called on by God to do, we answer first to His authority.”

Calvary and the governor’s office have yet to respond to our request for comment.

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