Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
US judge rejects churches' challenge to stay-at-home order
topical urgent

US judge rejects churches' challenge to stay-at-home order

Church stock

A cross in front of a church's stained glass window.

CHICAGO — A federal judge on Wednesday rejected a challenge to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s authority to impose stay-at-home orders on churches in the battle against the coronavirus.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman denied a request for a temporary restraining order by two churches. Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church in Chicago and Logos Baptist Ministries in Niles wanted to hold worship services while reducing seating, designating entry and exit points, offering hand sanitizer and cleaning facilities. Elim Romanian held services Sunday despite Pritzker's order.

Illinois coroner blames overdose spike in part on virus
Barbershop has record turnout after reopening

The judge dismissed the comparison between churches and grocery stores. He asserted churches are more comparable to schools, movie theaters or concert halls, where people are also not gathering.

Gettleman noted COVID-19 can easily spread in church despite the efforts of congregants, adding the churches’ desire to hold services "cannot outweigh the health and safety of the public."

The churches have filed notice they will appeal Gettleman’s ruling.

Gettleman’s decision follows that of U.S. District Court Judge John Lee, who two weeks ago ruled against a northwest Illinois church that sought a temporary restraining in order to hold worship services.

Man refused service for no mask assaults 7-Eleven clerk
WhoaZone a no-zone after season canceled

Pritzker has modified his order to allow the "free exercise of religion," but limited religious gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Gallery: Protesters take to the streets to oppose shutdown orders in Midwestern states

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Crime

Entertainment & Dining

Latest News

Local Sports

NWI Prep Sport News

Weather Alerts