A congregation in Missouri has filed a lawsuit against county officials over restrictions on in-person worship services that they believe violates their First Amendment rights.
Church of the Word of Fenton filed suit against St. Louis County over a local order that limits in-person worship services to 25% capacity while secular businesses are allowed 100% capacity.
Church of the Word Pastor Matthew Sheffer told news station Fox 2 Now that he believed the county order unfairly hindered his congregation.
“When you do media you can’t have face-to-face interactions. This is important. We’re hindered. We’re evangelists. We can’t even invite people to church,” Sheffer said.
The church is being represented by attorneys David Gregory and Henry Elster, who expect a court to take up the lawsuit no later than next week.
“I would say, while we understand there are emergency circumstances, and elected leaders need to make decisions, there are certain lines in the sand they can’t cross in some of the rights protected by the First Amendment are essential,” Elster told Fox 2.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page Wednesday, Church of the Word asked for prayers from their supporters as they underwent the litigation.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski