MONTREAL -- A St-Leonard church is openly defying Quebec's public health measure limiting religious gatherings to 10 people per room.

More than 100 people showed up to the Good News chapel on Sunday. Parishioners railed against the restrictions on congregation size, saying that if more than 10 people can be permitted in school classrooms, provided they're distanced and wearing masks, the same should apply to them.

“We honestly don't believe it's fair what the government has done,” said Mark Sorella. “You're treating people differently depending on the type of activity they're trying to exercise. I don't think our laws and legal system allow for that kind of distinction.”

The church has held regular protests against the public health restrictions, claiming they need their community now more than ever.

“People actually need to see one another in order to feel a little bit of comfort. Church provides that comfort, that security, that hope they need to get through these difficult times,” said Sorella.

Pastor Steve Gesualdi said the decision to re-open was made knowing there could be consequences but police did not show up to the church. A spokesperson said they were unaware of the meeting but will look into the matter.

Restrictions on religious gatherings have been slightly loosened in Quebec after members of Montreal's Hasidic Jewish community went to court following several raids. A judge ruled that for houses of worship, 10 people could be in the same room at the same time, provided each room had its own entrance.

Previously, the rule only permitted 10 people in a building. Even with the modifications, Gesualdi said the limits are not realistic.

“These lockdown measures are ridiculous. They're already talking about extending them until March. If they don't enter into a proper dialogue with businesses and religious communities and so on, you're going to see that this is going to be happening more and more. I hope it happens because it's time now. Too many people are suffering from other things far more dangerous than COVID-19. Suicides are up, depression is up, anxiety is up.”