Thousands of people gathered in Portland’s Waterfront Park on Saturday to worship and pray amid the civil unrest that has plagued the city for over two months.
Led by California worship leader Sean Feucht, the event—dubbed “Riots to Revival”—attracted a large gathering—estimates ranged from 4,000 to 7,000 people—in what some called a “counter-protest.”
“We just believe that the church has the ability to change the narrative,” Feucht told Fox News. “All of America has just seen these buildings burning, and they’ve seen this destruction and this violence, and the mainstream media seems to be infatuated with this. But what I’m telling you is that there’s another story of what God is doing in these cities, and the church is rising up.”
Just blocks from the federal courthouse, organizers hoped to flip the script by coming together in unity, singing worship songs and praying for revival across the nation.
“White, Black, Hispanic—we came and released our song of hope over this city,” Feucht said. “People gave their life to Jesus—hundreds of people. We baptized people in the river behind us. There was so much joy that took over the streets of that city.”
Throughout the summer, protests in Portland have erupted into chaos and violence, with $4.8 million in property damages due to riots, according to Portland Business Alliance. Over the weekend, protestors lit a fire inside the Portland Police Association building, prompting police to declare a riot. As local police have worked overtime in recent weeks seeking to contain the unrest, federal authorities have also had a presence, with left-wing activists accusing them of adding to the tension as authorities seek ways to restore the rule of law.
Also, Feucht has taken a political stand in his home state regarding COVID-19 restrictions for churches, hosting “Let Us Worship” protests across California to encourage Christians to become more involved in politics and protest what he views as a “double standard” for public worship.
After California Gov. Newsom announced a ban on singing in places of worship, thousands signed Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” petition in a stand against what he deemed censorship and religious discrimination.
Photo: Courtesy of Sean Feucht