Nevada Church Files Request for Relief from State Limits on Worship Gatherings That Are Not Imposed on Secular Institutions

An employee works on slot machine seats along an empty casino floor at Caesars in Atlantic City, New Jersey July 5, 2006. | REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

A congregation in Nevada has filed a request for relief from state-imposed restrictions on in-person gatherings that only apply to faith communities and not secular entities. 

Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a church based in Lyon County, filed an injunction request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday.

At issue are restrictions imposed by Gov. Steve Sisolak that limit gatherings at houses of worship to 50 people while allowing secular entities like casinos and gyms to operate at 50% capacity.

The church hopes to also be allowed to hold worship services at 50% capacity, which would be around 90 people per in-person indoor gathering.

“The risk of COVID-19 exposure is greater at a restaurant than it is at a house of worship like Calvary Chapel that practices social distancing, eliminates coffee and snacks, and passes nothing person-to-person,” the lawsuit states.

“Courts agree that assemblies at restaurants and houses of worship are comparable. Yet the governor’s directive limits all religious gatherings to 50 people regardless of seating capacity, social distancing, or any other pertinent factor.”

The appeal also argues that Sisolak has been inconsistent in his enforcement of the restrictions, noting that the governor openly supported recent large-scale protests.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski