Justice Department Supports Drive-In Church

Congregants were issued $500 tickets for refusing to leave.

Attorney General Bill Barr said Tuesday that his department “filed a Statement of Interest in support of a church in Mississippi that allegedly sought to hold parking-lot worship services, in which congregants listened to their pastor preach over their car radios, while sitting in their cars in the church parking lot with their windows rolled up. The City of Greenville fined congregants $500 per person for attending these parking-lot services—while permitting citizens to attend nearby drive-in restaurants, even with their windows open.”

The church filed a lawsuit against the city claiming discrimination because the restrictions apply to churches but, as Barr said, not to restaurants in the town.

“The City appears to have thereby singled churches out as the only essential service (as designated by the state of Mississippi) that may not operate following all CDC and state recommendations regarding social distancing,” Barr said.

He added, “Even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers. Thus, the government may not impose special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to similar nonreligious activity.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • In praise to God that the officials of the City of Greenville decided to waive the citations given to churchgoers who attended the drive-in service.
  • For church leaders and pastors as they work to continue fellowship with and among their congregations and look forward to the day when regular services can resume.

Sources: Townhall, USA Today


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