Two Illinois churches have filed an emergency request for relief to the U.S. Supreme Court from a state order that limits in-person worship services to no more than 10 people.
Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries filed the injunction request on Wednesday, asking for relief from the order by Sunday, which is the holy day of Pentecost.
In their request for relief, the churches said Gov. Jay Pritzker’s limitations on worship gatherings in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 are “arbitrary and discriminatory” against houses of worship.
“Governor Pritzker has no plans to remove the 10-person limit on worship anytime soon,” read the request.
“On May 5, 2020, Governor Pritzker released his 5-phase Restore Illinois plan, continuing to subject churches to the 10-person limit through Phases 1, 2, and 3, upping the limit to 50 under Phase 4, and eventually removing limits in Phase 5 — no sooner than 12 to 18 months from now, and all subject to change, at any time.”
The churches stressed that they’ve been following social distancing guidelines, such as keeping attendees 6 feet apart, checking people’s temperatures before entering their buildings, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting their properties.
“Concerns about being fined, arrested, hauled off to jail, or subjected to other punitive measures have interfered with and diminished its collective worship experience, to a much greater extent than COVID-19 and the resulting precautionary measures it has voluntarily employed, ever could,” continued the churches’ request.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski