Churches claim discrimination over closure orders

By Around the Web

(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) — As states begin to crack down on churches violating stay-at-home orders, some Christian leaders are worried that faith groups are at risk of discrimination during the pandemic.

Religious liberty advocates argue that orders requiring social distancing and gatherings of no more than 10 people, which are intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, also violate churches’ right to assemble. The outcry has been building over the past few weeks, with one Louisiana pastor calling the orders a “persecution of the faith.”

But until Monday, neither law enforcement nor pastors had taken legal action. That changed when Florida police arrested Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of The River Church in Tampa Bay. By continuing to hold services, despite a countywide lockdown, Howard-Browne violated health emergency rules and had organized an unlawful assembly, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

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