As public gatherings are brought to a halt, many people are wondering what this means for religious liberty and church gatherings. ADF attorney Kristin Waggoner ensures believers that First Amendment rights cannot be suspended permanently. This is why the threat from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to permanently close some churches even after the crisis is manifestly absurd.
Some claim that governmental restrictions on worship services are an infringement of religious liberty and a violation of the separation of church and state. Others disagree, noting that such prohibitions do not single out religious gatherings but include all events at which people could become infected with coronavirus. Still, others claim that church services should be classified as “essential” functions and allowed to continue under social distancing guidelines.
Bethel Open Bible Church locked its doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, barring a smaller church planning on hosting a Palm Sunday service in the Bethel Open Bible Church sanctuary from gathering. The smaller church, Cross Culture Christian Center, is now taking legal action.