Two Colorado churches and their pastors are currently protected from the state's enforcement of capacity limits and face masks during worship services based on an order handed down by a federal judge Oct. 15. This decision follows a lawsuit against federal and state officials for an array of religious freedom violations. Thomas More Society Special Counsel Rebecca Messall and co-counsel Brad Bergford are representing the congregations and their pastors.
Messall reports a favorable ruling from the Honorable Daniel D. Domenico for partially granting the relief sought by these houses of worship and their leaders. He said, "The lawsuit calls both the federal government and Colorado leaders into account for their violations of the right to free exercise of religion, among other abuses of power, primarily resulting from Gov. Jared Polis' COVID-19 related executive orders."
Denver Bible Church and its pastor, Robert Enyart, and Community Baptist Church and its pastor, Joey Rhoads, asked the court to enjoin enforcement of orders related to Colorado's gubernatorially-mandated capacity limits on worship services and face mask requirements.
Currently, Colorado imposes capacity limits on houses of worship more severe than those that apply to other "critical businesses" whose settings pose a similar risk of COVID-19 transmission. The state also allows a variety of exceptions to its facial-covering requirement where it recognizes that removing a mask is necessary to carry out a particular activity.
The order, issued by the Judge Domenico, states, "... the Constitution does not allow the state to tell a congregation how large it can be when comparable secular gatherings are not so limited, or to tell a congregation that its reason for wishing to remove facial coverings is less important than a restaurant's or spa's."
Domenico also noted, "The First Amendment does not allow government officials, whether in the executive or judicial branch, to treat religious worship as any less critical or essential than other human endeavors. Nor does it allow the government to determine what is a necessary part of a house of worship's religious exercise."
The judge's order prohibits Colorado officials from enforcing the state's executive orders and public health orders against the churches and pastors, in particular matters of occupancy limitations and face mask requirements during worship services.
Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family and religious liberty.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details