Judge Says Request by Two Illinois Churches to be Exempted from Ban on In-Person Religious Gatherings is ‘Selfish’

A judge has ruled in favor of an Illinois order that prohibits in-person religious gatherings of more than 10 people, rejecting the request of two churches for an exemption.

Earlier this month, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church of Chicago and Logos Baptist Ministries of Niles filed a lawsuit requesting a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the state order.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman issued an opinion Wednesday rejecting the request, arguing that the churches’ “request for an injunction” and “blatant refusal to follow the mandates of the Order are both ill-founded and selfish.”

“An injunction would risk the lives of plaintiffs’ congregants, as well as the lives of their family members, friends, co-workers and other members of their communities with whom they come in contact,” wrote Gettleman.

“Their interest in communal services cannot and does not outweigh the health and safety of the public.”

Gettleman also rejected the argument that in-person worship services pose no greater risk when it comes to spreading the coronavirus than secular venues such as grocery stores.

“Gatherings at places of worship pose higher risks of infection than gatherings at businesses,” he asserted. “The congregants do not just stop by Elim Church. They congregate to sing, pray, and worship together. That takes more time than shopping for liquor or groceries.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski