A businessman and former mayoral candidate said he will pay the fines three churches in Illinois will face for holding in-person worship service during the ongoing lockdown in the city.
The Philadelphia Romanian Church of God, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church, and Metro Praise International Church have been holding in-person services with more than 10 people, in violation of state orders.
Willie Wilson, an influential local businessman, released a statement Wednesday saying that he will pay the fines the three churches received for disobeying the state order.
“The governor and mayor continue to trample on our constitutional rights while hiding behind a stay-at-home order that treats the church as non-essential,” said Wilson, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
“It is shameful that the church is discriminated against, while liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries and Home Depot [are] treated as essential businesses.”
Wilson himself attended worship at Philadelphia Romanian Church of God on Sunday and has been active in distributing masks to Chicago aldermen and residents, the Sun-Times added.
While churches are being penalized for holding worship services during the state’s stay-at-home order, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended her decision not to abide by lockdown orders after it was revealed that she went to a hair salon for a haircut while other salons and barbershops were forced to remain closed. Lightfoot suggested last month that the lockdown orders did not apply to her because she’s “the public face of this city” and is giving interviews on national TV.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski