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    The Supreme Court refused to consider a case on Nevada’s restrictions in places of worship, NBC News reported. The Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a church in Reno, Nevada, appealed the Court of Appeals decision claiming that these restrictions violate a person’s religious freedom. Attorney generals from 19 states have sided with the church in an effort to uphold religious freedom across the country while states continue to place restrictions on houses of worship, AP News reported. “This petition is the court’s last opportunity to issue a merits opinion this term settling how lower courts analyze the interplay between COVID-19 emergency orders and free exercise rights,” wrote a lawyer for Calvary Chapel in their court filings Thursday. Calvary claims they are treated more harshly than other public facilities, according to NBC. Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak had imposed a 25% capacity limit in public places and allows 50 people to attend a...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- The pastor at Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Chicago's Oak Lawn neighborhood said he's not aware of any specific threat directed at his congregation, but in the wake of last week's Capitol Hill riot, he's not taking chances."We have to be diligent and not think that we're ok," said Pastor James Bowman Harris.Pastor Harris announced Saturday that the church will be closed for the next week after a warning from national leadership.RELATED: Chicago protest expected as Illinois, US brace for possible unrest leading to Inauguration Day"Because we are deemed a liberal congregation, a liberal type of denomination and church, that there are threats to other churches, other UCC churches," he said.After a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, federal officials have warned that religious groups are among potential targets for more acts of violence heading into President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.In response to those...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- The pastor at Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Chicago's Oak Lawn neighborhood said he's not aware of any specific threat directed at his congregation, but in the wake of last week's Capitol Hill riot, he's not taking chances."We have to be diligent and not think that we're ok," said Pastor James Bowman Harris.Pastor Harris announced Saturday that the church will be closed for the next week after a warning from national leadership.RELATED: Chicago protest expected as Illinois, US brace for possible unrest leading to Inauguration Day"Because we are deemed a liberal congregation, a liberal type of denomination and church, that there are threats to other churches, other UCC churches," he said.After a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, federal officials have warned that religious groups are among potential targets for more acts of violence heading into President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.In response to those...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- The FBI is warning officials in Washington and all 50 state capitals to be ready for possible face-offs with violent extremists.Authorities say they're going over about 140,000 digital media tips to try keeping the inauguration safe.Here in the Chicago area, some local places of worship increasing their security.The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago says the FBI warned the Council that its members could be targeted by white supremacists over the next couple of weeks."We are concerned with the situation, how it's panning out, especially for the minority groups," said Irshad Khan Ciogc with the Council of Islamic Organization of Greater Chicago..RELATED: IL National Guard sent to DC as warnings prompt enhanced security throughout country ahead of Inauguration DayThere will be 200 from the Illinois National Guard among the 21,000 National Guard members deployed to Washington D.C.The National Mall now looks more like a fortress as...
    (CNN)A federal appeals court on Monday blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's restrictions on religious gatherings, saying the restrictions "are not narrowly tailored to stem the spread of Covid-19."The decision comes after the US Supreme Court ruled in November that Jewish and Catholic houses of worship faced "far more restrictive" Covid-19 regulations than businesses. The appeals court? ruling addressed per person limits on houses of worship, saying the state must justify imposing 10- or 25-person limits on houses of worship but not on certain secular businesses.In court papers, lawyers for the Democratic governor said that the restrictions were necessary to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and that houses of worship weren't being treated differently than similar secular businesses. They also said that while the dispute was pending, Cuomo had already lifted any restrictions that applied to the organizations.Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Monday's ruling,...
    The U.S. Supreme Court ordered Tuesday that a federal court must reexamine Colorado’s coronavirus restrictions on indoor religious services. In an unsigned decision, the court threw out a federal district court’s ruling that had rejected High Plains Harvest Church’s challenge to the state’s restrictions on houses of worship, according to the Star Tribune. The decision comes after the Supreme Court granted temporary relief from Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions on houses of worship. The court also tossed out an order from a Central District of California court that had upheld Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s restrictions on houses of worship. (RELATED: Mental Health Improved For Only One Group During COVID — And Dems Did Everything They Could To Suppress It) Three of the liberal justices who dissented emphasized that Colorado had already lifted the restrictions on houses of worship, noting that the state had amended its public...
    Last week, Justice Neil Gorsuch not-so-subtly jabbed at secular liberals by name-checking several “essential” businesses allowed to remain open — liquor stores, bike shops and acupuncturists — even as houses of worship were required to close. “It may be unsafe to go to church,” he wrote. “But it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians.” His implication was that the law was catering to liberal elites, the kind who ride bikes (guilty as charged) and treat acupuncture as an “exploration.” In the decision that occasioned this pointed comment, the Supreme Court ruled that religious institutions can’t be subject to stricter COVID-19 restrictions than other organizations. It marks a meaningful doctrinal development in First Amendment jurisprudence. The court’s new majority is moving to give religion “most favored nation” status when compared to other public...
    With coronavirus cases surging again nationwide, the Supreme Court barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard-hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 late Wednesday night, with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented. The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — With coronavirus cases surging again nationwide, the Supreme Court barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 late Wednesday night, with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented. The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada. The court’s action Wednesday could push New York to reevaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated virus hot spots. But the impact is also muted because the Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups that sued...
    WASHINGTON (CBS SF/AP) — With coronavirus cases surging again nationwide, the Supreme Court barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. In an increasingly acrimonious dispute between health officials and religious groups mirrored in the Bay Area and across the country, the justices split 5-4 late Wednesday night, with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented. In San Francisco recently, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has gotten into a verbal exchange with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a practicing Catholic, organized a march and rally, and appealed to the U.S. Justice Department for help, prompting the DOJ to send a letter to Mayor London Breed saying the city’s COVID-19 restrictions on places of worship were unconstitutional....
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed a Supreme Court ruling blocking him from restricting capacity in New York City houses of worship as “irrelevant” and “moot.” “It’s irrelevant of any practical impact because of the zone they were talking about is moot,” Cuomo said in response to the news late Wednesday night that the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against his order limiting the size of religious services in the nation’s largest city. “It expired last week. It doesn’t have any practical effect.” Cuomo added, “The lawsuit was about the Brooklyn zone. The Brooklyn zone no longer exists as a red zone. That’s muted. So that restriction is no longer in effect. That situation just doesn’t exist because those restrictions are gone.” The New York Democrat also took a veiled swipe at the court’s new conservative justices, saying, “The Supreme Court made a ruling. It’s more illustrative of the Supreme Court...
    WASHINGTON (WABC) -- As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative's first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court's three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett's liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada.RELATED | Brooklyn Diocese challenges NY capacity restrictions in Supreme CourtEMBED More News Videos The diocese argued the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo violate its constitutional right of religious freedom. Governor Andrew Cuomo responded to the Supreme Court ruling,...
    Washington — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday temporarily barred New York from enforcing certain attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.   The court's action could push New York to reevaluate those restrictions, but it won't have any immediate impact since the two groups that sued as a result of the restrictions, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues in Brooklyn and Queens, are no longer subject to them. NY governor expects "significant" December rise in COVID The groups sued to challenge attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated red and orange zones, where New York had capped attendance at 10 and 25 people, respectively. But the groups are now subject to less-restrictive rules because they're now in areas designated yellow zones. Obamacare may survive Supreme Court challenge... 04:57 The justices split 5-4...
    WASHINGTON - As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative's first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court's three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented. The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett's liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada. The court's action Wednesday could push New York to reevaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated virus hot spots. But the impact of the court's action is also muted because the Catholic and Orthodox Jewish...
    The Diocese of Brooklyn on Thursday cheered the Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily block Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s capacity limits at houses of worship in COVID-19 hotspots. “I am gratified by the decision of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, who have recognized the clear First Amendment violation and urgent need for relief in this case,” said Nicholas DiMarzio, the Bishop of Brooklyn. “I am proud to be leading the Diocese of Brooklyn and fighting for our sacred and constitutional right to worship.” In a ruling late Wednesday night, the highest court in the land sided with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, saying in a 5-4 decision that Cuomo’s cap was a constitutional violation. Both religious institutions, which have churches and synagogues in Brooklyn and Queens — then designated red and orange zones, sued in October when Cuomo imposed attendance caps at 10...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday temporarily barred New York from enforcing certain attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. Residents attend mass on Oct. 22, 2020, at the Sacred Hearts and St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in New York City. (Getty Images) The court’s action could push New York to reevaluate those restrictions, but it won’t have any immediate impact since the two groups that sued as a result of the restrictions, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues in Brooklyn and Queens, are no longer subject to them. The groups sued to challenge attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated red and orange zones, where New York had capped attendance at 10 and 25 people, respectively. But the groups are now subject to less-restrictive rules because they’re now in...
    Loading the player... As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented. Read More: Indiana asks US Supreme Court to deny parental rights to same-sex couples Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett poses for a photo with junior United States Senator James Lankford (R-OK) on Capitol Hill on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel-Pool/Getty Images) The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place...
    By JESSICA GRESKO WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented. The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada. The court’s action Wednesday could push New York to reevaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated virus hot spots. But the impact of the court’s action is also muted because the Catholic...
    WASHINGTON -- As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide, the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative's first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court's three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett's liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada.The court's action Wednesday could push New York to reevaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated as virus hot spots. But the impact of the court's action is also muted because the Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups that sued...
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday night blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from reimposing strict attendance caps at worship services in areas hit hard by the novel coronavirus.  The court voted 5-4 to bar Cuomo from enforcing his Oct. 6 “Cluster Initiative” against houses of worship that sued to challenge the restrictions.  Under the initiative, Cuomo created color-coded limits on mass gatherings and business operations, in an effort to stem the outbreak in New York City areas that were experiencing a surge in cases, according to Bloomberg News.   New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City.  (Getty Images) It was aimed at worship services at some synagogues and Roman Catholic churches in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. In the hardest-hit areas, which were designated red zones, the...
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration is discriminating against houses of worship with coronavirus restrictions, Montse Alvarado, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty executive director, told "Fox & Friends" Friday. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is waiting for relief after turning to the Supreme Court Thursday to fight back against Cuomo's restrictions on houses of worship on the grounds of religious freedom. ANDREW CUOMO SAYS HE 'WOULD'VE DECKED' TRUMP OVER INSULTS IF HE WASN'T NY GOVERNOR "This has been restriction after restriction," Alvarado said, slamming Cuomo as "the Big Apple's biggest bigot" and saying they've had "zero success" working with his administration. In this June 15, 2020, file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo removes a mask as he holds a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y. On Wednesday, Cuomo announced new coronavirus restrictions that take effect Friday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) "He goes after communities of faith, specifically the Jewish community, and having other...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A federal judge has refused to block an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo strictly limiting the number of people in houses of worship in communities with surging coronavirus cases. The judge made his decision in a suit brought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. MORE: Diocese Of Brooklyn Takes Gov. Cuomo To Court Over Second Coronavirus Shutdown Order He said while the restrictions hurt religious groups, it’s not in the public interest to block them if they’re helping prevent a wave of new infections. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio responded in a statement that read in part, “The Diocese of Brooklyn is extremely disappointed by today’s ruling, as we believe we presented a strong case in support of our right to worship. It is a shame our parishioners in the red zones cannot return to Mass when the judge acknowledged we have done everything right. We are...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Lawsuits filed by the Diocese of Brooklyn and an Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization to block limited attendance at houses of worship in COVID-19 hot spots have been denied. The rulings mean Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order to limit capacity to 25% or no more than 10 people within red zones, where the infection rate is above 3%, can be enforced. A federal judge announced the ruling against the Diocese of Brooklyn late Friday, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported. The Orthodox Jewish organization’s lawsuit was struck down by a federal judge Friday afternoon. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio made the following statement in response to the ruling: “We are disappointed by last night’s initial ruling, but this is only the beginning of the case, and we expect ultimately to prevail. We are seeking what is just. And we have kept parishioners safe and will continue to do so. Thus, there is...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Lawsuits filed by the Diocese of Brooklyn and an Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization to block limited attendance at houses of worship in COVID-19 hot spots have been denied. The rulings mean Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order to limit capacity to 10 people within red zones, where the infection rate is above 3%, can be enforced. A federal judge announced the ruling against the Diocese of Brooklyn on Saturday morning, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported. The Orthodox Jewish organization’s lawsuit was struck down by a federal judge Friday afternoon. Enforcement is being stepped up in Borough Park, in particular, where the tightest restrictions on coronavirus clusters in the city are in place. Only essential businesses are allowed to open. It’s takeout only for restaurants and schools are fully remote for at least two weeks. Members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community had been protesting restrictions in the neighborhood all week....
    Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City In separate cases, two federal judges upheld Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order imposing new capacity restrictions on houses of worship within new COVID-19 clusters in Brooklyn and Queens, and other parts of the state. Eastern District of New York Judge Eric Komitee denied the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking Cuomo’s order to limit capacity at houses of worship to just 25% of the maximum, or no more than 10, in “red zones” where COVID-19 cases have grown significantly in recent weeks. That ruling mirrored a decision issued by Eastern District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto against a group led by Agudath Israel of America, which also sought to stop the new capacity restrictions. Agudath Israel represents a number of Orthodox Jewish synagogues and yeshivas located in...
    Los Angeles Pastor John MacArthur's message in a new viral video is crystal clear: Open your churches. What are the details? MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, released a video Wednesday detailing why he believes church is essential and should be opened. Grace Community Church reopened for in-person services in July, defying California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's COVID-19 restrictions. In response, Los Angeles County sought a court order to prohibit the church from meeting indoors. By August, however, a California Superior Court judge said the church could continue to hold indoor services as long as worshippers wear face coverings and practice social distancing. In Wednesday's widely viewed video, MacArthur argued that churches and parishioners across the country should band together in an effort to take back church amid the COVID-19 pandemic because it should be as God commanded. In the video, MacArthur — who...
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Jewish religious leaders that limiting houses of worship to 50 percent capacity was sufficient to beat back the coronavirus surge — only to announce tighter restrictions just hours later. The governor spoke around 9 a.m. Tuesday with honchos from Orthodox Jewish communities across New York, seeking their commitment to help contain new outbreaks in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as a handful of upstate communities. “I’m asking you, out of friendship, for your help,” Cuomo said, according to a transcript of the phone call obtained by The Post. “It’s in your community’s best interest on many levels. It’s in their health interest. It’s [in] their relationship with the surrounding communities interest. And I know if you inform your community, they will listen to you.” Many sites of the latest outbreaks are in communities with sizable Orthodox populations. Cuomo told the leaders that a strict limit...
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Jewish religious leaders that limiting houses of worship to 50 percent capacity was sufficient to beat back the coronavirus surge — only to announce tighter restrictions just hours later. The governor spoke around 9 a.m. Tuesday with honchos from Orthodox Jewish communities across New York, seeking their commitment to help contain new outbreaks in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as a handful of upstate communities. “I’m asking you, out of friendship, for your help,” Cuomo said, according to a transcript of the phone call obtained by The Post. “It’s in your community’s best interest on many levels. It’s in their health interest. It’s [in] their relationship with the surrounding communities interest. And I know if you inform your community, they will listen to you.” Many sites of the latest outbreaks are in communities with sizable Orthodox populations. Cuomo told the leaders that a strict limit on...
    The coronavirus pandemic has posed daunting challenges for houses of worship across the U.S., often entailing large financial losses and suspension of in-person services. It also has sparked moments of gratitude, wonder and inspiration. In the Chicago suburb of Cary, Lutheran pastor Sarah Wilson recorded a sermon aboard a small plane piloted by a congregation member. The video that went online showed a high-up view of idyllic landscapes. “It was very spiritual,” Wilson said. In New York, Episcopal priest Steven Paulikas heard from someone in France who watched a service via Facebook. “I loved your sermon,” was the message. “It’s a new experience for me,” said Paulikas, of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. “People I’ve never met before, from different states and countries, are joining us online.” Such positive experiences are not uncommon. Clerics nationwide say they and their congregations responded to the pandemic and resulting lockdowns with creativity,...
    By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer The coronavirus pandemic has posed daunting challenges for houses of worship across the U.S., often entailing large financial losses and suspension of in-person services. It also has sparked moments of gratitude, wonder and inspiration. In the Chicago suburb of Cary, Lutheran pastor Sarah Wilson recorded a sermon aboard a small plane piloted by a congregation member. The video that went online showed a high-up view of idyllic landscapes. “It was very spiritual,” Wilson said. In New York, Episcopal priest Steven Paulikas heard from someone in France who watched a service via Facebook. “I loved your sermon,” was the message. “It’s a new experience for me,” said Paulikas, of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. “People I’ve never met before, from different states and countries, are joining us online.” Such positive experiences are not uncommon. Clerics nationwide say they and their congregations responded to the...
    The Justice Department on Friday called on San Francisco Mayor London Breed to increase the allowable capacity in houses of worship, accusing the city of impeding on “religious freedom” amid the coronavirus. In a three-page letter, Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband and U.S.attorney David Anderson of the Northern District of California called San Francisco’s policy of allowing just one congregant inside at a time “draconian.” The letter acknowledged the city has the obligation to protect its residents from the deadly virus, but added, “there is no pandemic exception for the Constitution.” “Even in times of emergency, when reasonable, narrowly-tailored, and temporary restrictions may lawfully limit our liberty, the First Amendment and federal statutory law continue to prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers,” Dreiband and Anderson wrote. “These principles are legally binding, and the Constitution’s unyielding protections for religious worshipers distinguish the United States of America from places dominated by tyranny and despotism.”...
    In the latest battle between Gov. Gavin Newsom and houses of worship over coronavirus restrictions, three Northern California churches sued the governor on Wednesday, seeking to overturn his ban on singing during religious services. The suit, filed on behalf of Calvary Chapel of Ukiah, Calvary Chapel of Fort Bragg and River of Life Church in Oroville, seeks to block Newsom’s July 1 ban on singing in houses of worship to stop the spread of coronavirus because of an alleged double standard. “Places of worship must, therefore, discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower,” new guidelines read as state health officials recommend churches have members sing online from their homes. The suit, filed by attorneys who have previously led lawsuits against Newsom’s ban on in-person services, said the Democratic governor banned singing and chanting inside...
    Faith leaders are decrying California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban last week on singing in houses of worship due to a surge in coronavirus cases, Fox News reported on Monday. California’s new guidelines state that places of worship must “discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower,” as health officials point to singing as a proven way to spread a virus. Sean Feucht, a pastor in Northern California, started a "Let Us Worship" petition on his website, comparing Newsom to Pharoah by reading a verse from Exodus, "This is what the Lord says, Let my people go, so that they may worship me." He shared a post on Instagram showing images of him leading "illegal worship" in Iraq in 2016, in North Korea in 2010, and in California on Friday, writing "Never in my life would I believe...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS SF / CNN) — While you can still attend in-person church services in California, you can’t sing. The state, to curb a rapidly worsening pandemic, has temporarily banned singing and chanting in places of worship. “Places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities,” he state’s Department of Public Health said in their latest guidance for houses of worship posted Wednesday (.pdf). “Practices and performances present an increased likelihood for transmission of Covid-19 through contaminated exhaled droplets and should occur through alternative methods like internet streaming,” health officials went to say in its updated order. California has had more than 24,000 coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, it announced 6,367 cases, the second highest total for the state since the pandemic began. This has prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to tighten restrictions. Covid patients make up for about 30% of all hospitalizations, according to state data. Singing at services has proven...
    Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has issued new restrictions limiting the reopening of the economy in nearly 20 counties across the Golden State. One of the more controversial measures introduced Thursday will ban singing and chanting at houses of worships, which are already restricted to allowing 25% of guests or just 100 worshippers (whichever is lower). The Sacramento Bee reported that in late May, Newsom simply encouraged houses of worship to “strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances.” The outlet also reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that singing and shouting “can spread the coronavirus just as easily as coughing or sneezing.” “California’s health department agrees, and as Gov. Gavin Newsom begins tightening protocols during a resurgence of the pandemic, it now says singing and chanting are outright banned,” the outlet reported. “‘Activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet...
    A group of evangelical pastors gathered at Seattle's CHOP zone earlier this week to pray and declare that they will defend houses of worship and statues of Jesus after activists called for tearing them down amid Black Lives Matter protests. Brian Gibson, founder of the Peaceably Gather movement and pastor of His Church, denounced Shaun King's call to remove "white Jesus" statues and other activists trying to remove Christian symbols and monuments in a movement that began with hatred and vandalism toward Confederate statues. CUOMO, DE BLASIO WRONG TO LIMIT WORSHIP SERVICES, CONDONE MASS PROTESTS: FEDERAL JUDGE "The call from Black Lives Matters leaders to destroy images of Christ and deface houses of worship is nothing less than a terroristic threat to people of faith," Gibson told Fox News. A group of evangelical pastors gather at Seattle's CHOP zone to pray and declare that they will defend houses of worship from...
    The Catholic Church in the United States is celebrating Religious Freedom Week, highlighting Tuesday the defense of houses of worship. The U.S. bishops have chosen a specific area of religious liberty for each day of Religious Freedom Week, beginning with Monday’s theme of religious freedom in healthcare, and followed by Tuesday’s topic of churches, mosques, and synagogues and the right to worship. “Pray that people of all faiths would be free to worship without fear of attacks and harassment,” the bishops urge. This theme has two angles, one of the fundamental right to freely worship God and the second the defense of houses of worship from attacks. “Houses of worship provide spaces for people to step back, often with fellow believers, and pray,” the bishops note. “The disturbing rise in attacks on these places is an attack on religious freedom. Gunmen in churches, synagogues, and mosques terrorize faith communities.” “In...
    New York’s recovery from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been quicker than expected, allowing for the loosening of rules for potential graduation ceremonies and houses of worship. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced over the weekend, that in-person graduations will be permitted with less than 150 people starting Friday, June 26. In addition, churches, mosques, temples, and other religious buildings in regions that reach Phase 2 of reopening can open back up with 25 percent capacity. In both cases, proper social distancing protocols must be maintained, and the reopening is subject to any potential spike in COVID-19 cases. “We’re going to open the valve more than we originally anticipated because the metrics are so good,” Cuomo said. "We now have the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus since this pandemic began. “But people still have to stay smart and follow all the necessary precautions and guidelines because if...
    (CNN)Houses of worship in certain parts of New York will be allowed to reopen with restrictions Sunday as Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations decrease, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced.Places of worship can reopen with 25% occupancy as part of phase two of the reopening plan, according to a press release from the governor's office."We now have the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus since this pandemic began." the governor said in the press release. "But people still have to stay smart and follow all the necessary precautions and guidelines because if the metrics start to change, the reopening will have to be slowed down."Temples, mosques, churches and other houses of worship across the country have been reopening over the past few weeks after coronavirus restrictions resulted in the banning of in person services in some states. Hospital chaplains are bridging the gap between patients and grieving families who cant...
    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is moving faster than expected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, allowing the state to loosen some restrictions on gatherings in houses of worship. Churches, temples, mosques and other religious buildings will be allowed to operate with 25 percent of their usual capacity once the region they are in reaches phase two of the state’s reopening plan. “We’re going to open the valve more then we originally anticipated because the metrics are so good,” Cuomo said. TOP STORIES Shaun King: Democrats, from top to bottom, are running the cities with the worst police brutality Richmond police chief says rioters blocked firefighters from burning home with child inside Trump: New White House security fence to cost a crazy $50 million All of the state, except for New York City, is now in the second phase of loosening restrictions put in...
    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Ned Lamont announced Friday he is easing pandemic restrictions on religious services, allowing houses of worship to now have up to 100 people inside, or 25% capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor worship services will now be limited to up to 150 people, so long as everyone maintains proper social distancing. All religious gatherings had previously been limited to 50 people under the governor’s earlier orders. TOP STORIES Glorious: Kayleigh McEnany receives praise as White House press secretary I can breathe - thanks to the NYPD shirts flood pro-police NYC rally Cardi B: Looters who torched AutoZone, ransacked Target and liquor store had no choice “We wanted to come up with some protocols that we think keep the congregation safe and allow you to worship in an appropriate way,” said the Democrat during a news conference on the state Capitol steps, joined by members...
    Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.Across the country, lawsuits have mounted as houses of worship fight back against restrictions limiting how many people can gather for services, as states try to protect residents from the coronavirus pandemic. A common theme is the argument that while greater numbers of people are allowed at stores and other locations deemed essential, forbidding similar situations at churches, synagogues or mosques may violate the First Amendment. ILLINOIS CHURCH BECOMES 2ND CONGREGATION TO FILE EMERGENCY REQUEST WITH SUPREME COURT OVER CORONAVIRUS ORDERS “In Douglas County, Ore., Pastor [Robert] Miller may be jailed for going to church with 25 other people on a Sunday morning, but can join those same people and more at a dine-in restaurant for Sunday lunch with no penalty,” said a complaint filed in federal court Tuesday by two Oregon churches, according to Oregon Public...
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