Reporters attacked while covering large church gatherings
A reporter was attacked on Sunday morning in both Urk and Krimpen aan den IJssel. A journalist from Powned was hit by a car while investigating the much-discussed church attendance in Urk. The journalist ended up on the hood of the car and has announced that he will report the incident. Things also went wrong at the Mieras Church in Krimpen aan den IJssel. A reporter from RTV Rijnmond was hit and kicked by a churchgoer. The police are looking for the culprit.
The churches are in the news this week, as the massively attended church services also continue during the corona pandemic. The church announced that it was abandoning all corona rules because the "spiritual need" in the faith community is too great.
On Sunday, countless journalists stood in front of the Sion Church in Urk, which did not please the dozens of churchgoers who walked into the church without masks. Most of them clenched their jaws. Some called out to the media to go home.
A reporter from Powned, Mark Baanders, who was present, tried to interview Urkers together with a camera operator, but that led to anger all the way. A motorist drove at him with screeching tires. "I thought he would stop, but just gas extra gas," said Baanders, somewhat bewildered. The Powned journalist ended up on the hood, after which the motorist took off. The incident happened in the presence of a police officer.
Baanders announces that he will file a report. According to him, he was also kicked before. "I am more bothered by those kicks than by that collision ... I am going to report it. Even if only for the statistics. That way people can see what the press is going through."
Other journalists were also attacked by churchgoers. "Of course we are more often looking for the boundaries," says Baanders. "You know this can happen, but of course, I don't choose to be hit by a car."
It also went wrong Sunday morning at the Mieras Church in Krimpen aan den IJssel, where about seven hundred churchgoers had gathered. A reporter from RTV Rijnmond was kicked and hit. According to a police spokesperson, the reporter was interviewing someone when the churchgoer attacked the reporter. According to an ANP reporter present, it was a karate kick in the back, but the police spokesman could not confirm that.
A security guard from the NOS intervened. An auxiliary clerk called the churchgoer to order. The perpetrator eventually went into the church. The police are still looking for the culprit, as the Rijnmond reporter is also going to report the crime. The police expect to arrest the perpetrator after the service. "The person we want to arrest went to church and the church service is now underway," said the police spokesman.