Saying that it’s impossible for him to have meaningful religious observances “on a zoom meeting,” a Massachusetts pastor is continuing to hold services with more than 10 attendees despite repeated fines and warnings.
Daring to have interpersonal contact with others is fast becoming a political statement in the United States, with people bringing out signs to support or protest those who exercise their freedom of assembly and religion.
While some supporters are standing with Pastor Kris Casey at Adams Square Baptist Church, others call him “misguided” amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to CBS Boston.
Casey has been given two fines for violating Gov. Charlie Baker’s ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
“We have a right to disobey” the governor’s directive, Casey told WBZ-TV. “I can’t baptize someone on a zoom meeting.”
A few dozen people gathered outside the church on May 10 with signs and flags to support Casey’s decision to hold services in violation of the state’s coronavirus emergency orders.
“I came out today to not only support this pastor but to support religious freedom as a whole,” said David Topaz.
“I wanted to make that bold statement. To honor the worship, the freedom of worship,” agreed demonstrator Verna Khamtzian.
Kasey said he stands by his decision to resist the ban despite the possibility of more fines or even arrest.
“Our church seats between 300 and 325. I didn’t count how many came in — more than 10,” said Kasey.
According to the pastor, the church was cleaned three times in the past week and a number of precautions were in place, including checking attendees’ temperatures and requiring masks and gloves.