Chicago fines churches for holding services in violation of governor’s edict

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Churches struggle with loss of income during COVID-19 crisis With no regular services, many churches are experiencing a major cash shortfall; religion correspondent Lauren Green reports.

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, a Democratic governor’s “passionate belief” now has the force of law.

Chicago, which is punishing whole neighborhoods for the disobedience of churches that might be within their borders, is now fining churches that defy the stay-at-home orders of Democratic Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker.

The Chicago Police Department told Fox News that three churches will be subjected to financial punishment for services held on Sunday, May 17.

Because religious services are deemed “nonessential” under Pritzker’s current order, they are limited to under 10 people. Philadelphia Romanian Church of God limited its congregation to 75 people on May 17 — less than 10 percent of its capacity — and was among the houses of worship fined by Chicago for its weekend services.

Parking was also banned in the church’s entire neighborhood, to the chagrin of many neighbors.

Philadelphia Romanian had members meet 13 requirements to attend — including having no disease symptoms and being under 65 years of age — and will have to pay a $500 citation, according to the Chicago Police.

Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Metro Praise International also face fines for their May 17 services.

Pritzker, who like many Democratic governors has been extremely aggressive in ordering shutdowns and mandating behavior to stem the spread of the coronavirus, previously defended his orders keeping people away from where they normally practice their religions.

“I know how hard it is to break from traditional celebrations of togetherness. But I believe passionately that adapting our expressions of faith in these times is one of the most faithful acts of all,” Pritzker said in a tweet in mid-April.

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