Church that sued over stay-at-home defies order
LENA — Beloved Church of Lena, which sued Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in federal court over the extension of his stay-at-home order, defied the order and held services.
WREX-TV, an NBC affiliate in Rockford, reported people walking into services, even through their reporter wasn’t permitted in.
The lawsuit says the defendants have “intentionally denigrated Illinois churches and pastors and people of faith by relegating them to second-class citizenship.”
Cassell and his church have been issued “cease and desist” orders, and have been threatened with closure and prosecution for continuing to meet for worship, prayer, and Bible study.
On Sunday, they continued to meet, though. A PR firm representing the church says congregants were provided hand sanitzier and family units were spaced 6 feet apart.
The church is also planning on filing a temporary restraining order against the stay-at-home order.
Pritzker has said that most churches have found ways to practice their faith during the COVID-19 pandemic, but churches that do meet are putting people in harm’s way.