Even though Brussels’ Koekelberg basilica is one of the largest churches in the world, Belgium's COVID-19 restrictions dictate that no more than 15 individuals can attend service in the building at one time, Reuters reports.
The same 15 person limit is being applied at much smaller parishes in the country, leading to confusion and outrage among Catholics who say a larger church should be able to allow more parishioners.
Worshipers gathered in Brussels Sunday to protest the restrictions.
"Here, more than in any other building in Belgium, this law is an incredible absurdity," priest Marc Leroy of said, who joined the protests on Sunday.
A petition was launched by Leroy and other worshipers to change the rule to allow for attendance in proportion to the size of the church.
The national basilica is 8,000 square meter (86,111 square feet) church that can normally host hundreds of parishioners for mass. It is considered to be the fifth largest church in the world, Reuter's reports.
The 15 person attendance limit was put in place in December by the government as Belgium experienced a second wave of infections.
"This house is so big in comparison to a bus, or an airport or a plane with 300, 400 passengers. I find it absurd to only allow in 15 people in a basilica," worshipper Jacques Jazz said.
Another worshipper, Michel Beke, said, "It’s completely ridiculous, they haven’t thought about it. It’s unjust. And if some people think we don’t need to pray right now then they’re wrong."
A spokeswoman for the interior ministry told Reuters that a government meeting set for Friday would discuss the restrictions.