Several people in two cities in the Netherlands attacked journalists. They reported on the services provided without complying with epidemiological measures.
Despite strict regulations due to epidemics and public criticism, the Protestant churches in Urk and Krimpen aan den Ijssel were open to hundreds of tourists on Sunday morning.
The reporter covering the incident was attacked in front of the church.
Witnesses said that in Krimpen, near Rotterdam, a 43-year-old man assaulted a TV reporter. According to the police, the person was arrested shortly afterwards.
In Urk, northeast of Amsterdam, a man deliberately hit a TV cameraman with a car. Television reports said that earlier believers defeated journalists. The reporter was slightly injured.
Police and politicians believe that violence is unacceptable.
Attorney General Ferd Grapperhaus stated that independent journalism is necessary for the establishment of a democratic constitutional state.
Parliamentarians from multiple political parties also criticized the violence. The leader of the Social Democratic Party, Liliane Ploumen, said on Twitter: “Let journalists do their job.”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte has previously criticized churches, saying they are irresponsible because they allow hundreds of people to attend services despite the isolation.
According to the Constitution, gatherings of religious groups cannot be prohibited. But so far, most people follow the rules and can accommodate up to 30 people.