Pastors across America are speaking out against coronavirus orders that restrict religious gatherings, supposedly for safety reasons, while allowing huge protests to continue, casinos to open and abortion facilities to continue to kill unborn babies in elective abortions.
By MICAIAH BILGER / LifeNews.com
Last week, Tennessee pastor Greg Locke said he would rather go to jail than close his church, Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., the Washington Examiner reports.
“Churches should be open,” Locke said. “There should be no excuses. I will go to jail before I close my church.”
He said he refuses to “live in constant fear and media hysteria,” and he will not stop holding services because of the coronavirus crisis.
The pastor also shared a popular July sermon by Pastor John MacArthur titled, “Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church.”
Many believe government leaders are unfairly targeting houses of worship in violation of religious freedom, and a number of churches have filed lawsuits to challenge state orders.
In July, three California churches sued pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom for singling out houses of worship in his latest coronavirus restrictions.
The churches, Calvary Chapel of Ukiah, Calvary Chapel Fort Bragg and River of Life Church, said California leaders are unfairly targeting them by allowing massive protests to continue while heavily restricting religious worship.
According to their lawsuit, “When asked to explain whether people should heed Newsom’s mandate and avoid large crowds and gatherings, Newsom refused to place the same restrictions on protesters and explained ‘we have a Constitution, we have a right to free speech,’ and further stated that ‘we are all dealing with a moment in our nation‘s history that is profound and pronounced — do what you think is best.’”
On July 1, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines outlining steps that houses of worship must take to help prevent further spread of the virus. One of those measures prohibits singing, even when people are social distancing and wearing masks. The state also limits indoor religious attendance to “25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.”
According to the lawsuit, the churches could face fines, imprisonment or both if they violate Newsom’s mandate.
Most religious leaders across the world urged their congregations to be safe and practice common-sense health measures to protect themselves and others during the coronavirus outbreak. Throughout the spring, many religious services were held online or in special drive-in venues where people stayed in their vehicles with the windows up while listening to the service on their radios.