The churches of Los Angeles county are allowed to hold worship services under a new stay-at-home order that otherwise prohibits all gatherings.
The new order by the Department of Health went into effect on Monday, advising Los Angeles residents to stay at home as much as possible and not meet with anyone outside one’s household over the next three weeks. While all private and public gatherings are banned, the order exempts “faith based services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.”
The exemption comes because of a recent Supreme Court decision temporarily blocking restrictions on churches, Pacific Justice Institute President and founder Brad Dacus told The Christian Post.
“According to the Supreme Court, the government cannot be more restrictive on houses of worship than they are on other secular entities including essential businesses,” he explained. “What makes this particularly liberating for churches is that some of these essential businesses like airlines are not invoking any limitations like they did before the pandemic. If airports are allowed to fill their businesses with as many people as needed who want to fly, that same standard applies to churches and synagogues.”
Faith-based services must still be held outdoors under COVID-19 guidelines but there is no limit on attendance as long as attendees are socially distancing and wearing masks.