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Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries held services last Sunday with many safety precautions after filing a federal lawsuit last week against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his unconstitutional executive orders against churches.

Gov. Pritzker has restricted in-person worship services to no more than 10 people no matter the size of the church, while allowing supercenters, big box stores, liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries and more to accommodate large crowds. Liberty Counsel represents Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries.

Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church took extraordinary safety precautions before and during the services such as thoroughly sanitizing the facilities using a professional company, providing masks, gloves and disinfectant dispensers, and taping off chairs to put appropriate distance between the attendees.


May 10, 2020 Service at Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church

Pastor Cristian Ionescu, the senior pastor of Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church, immigrated in 1987 from Communist Romania and has experienced a government that would close down and even demolish churches at will. After the services last Sunday, Pastor Ionescu wrote, “In Romania, we knew our rights were a few letters on a piece of paper called constitution. It was just a gimmick! Here in the United States the Constitution still counts for something! Well, let’s make it count, lest it will become just a piece of paper!”


May 10, 2020 Service at Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church

Ionescu continued, “Last Sunday, Elim Church has provided a model for other churches but also for the government officials to look at and consider it! They look to the medical professionals and economists for guidance on how to reopen the economy? It’s time to consult with us on how to reopen church public services, not sending down absurd decrees that show ignorance and indifference! I for one will not accept to be placed in the same category with stadiums, cinemas, entertainment venues and bars! We’re not providing entertainment, we’re providing vital services! And please, have the decency to put the word “churches” into your recovery schemes, don’t bunch us into the ‘public gatherings’ If the food store is essential for providing food for the physical body, spiritual food is at least as important; buying building materials and home goods also has a spiritual dimension, for the church is a spiritual construction that needs to be built and maintained! The politicians need to stop pretending they care about our people more than we do!”

May 10, 2020 Service at Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders do not allow worship services that include more than 10 people, regardless if participants meet or exceed the appropriate social distancing and hygiene guidelines, while allowing so-called “essential” commercial and non-religious entities such as liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, warehouse clubs, and ‘big box’ stores to accommodate large crowds and masses of persons without scrutiny or the 10-person limit. This 10-person limit applies to all churches, including large churches that have multiple meeting venues, like these two churches. Elim Church has a campus of approximately 40,000 square feet, with 750 seats in its main auditorium and an additional 550 seats in overflow rooms (1,300 seats total). Logos Church has a campus of approximately 36,000 square feet, with 425 seats in its main auditorium and 100 seats available in an overflow room. These Churches, and many others like them, could easily accommodate many more than 10 persons, while still observing all social distancing and safety precautions in place elsewhere.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Governor Pritzker clearly does not seem to know that churches have the First Amendment right to exist, but businesses do not. In the land of the free, these Romanian pastors and church members should never have to fear arrest or sanction for attending worship services in church as they once experienced in a Communist country.”

 

Liberty Counsel

Author: Liberty Counsel