DA declares California’s San Luis Obispo is a “sanctuary county” for worship gatherings
(Worthy News) – The central California county of San Luis Obispo has been declared a sanctuary for churches wanting to hold indoor services with singing amid COVID-19 concerns, the Christian Post reports. County District Attorney Dan Dow confirmed at the end of July that churches will not be prosecuted for going against state coronavirus restrictions on worship gatherings.
During the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, California Gov. Gavin Newsom placed a variety of bans or limitations on church services and on singing at indoor worship gatherings. Numerous churches have filed lawsuits against the state on the grounds that the restrictions violate their first amendment rights to freedom of worship.
Now, California pastors have been deciding whether to obey the rules or defy them. Most recently, well-known preacher John Macarthur opened his Grace Community Church for full, indoor services.
In a twitter post, DA Dow said: “I declare San Luis Obispo County a sanctuary county for singing and praising in our houses of worship. Inherent with my responsibility to enforce the law is the discretion I have … to pursue only those charges that are warranted and are in the interest of justice.”
California has banned church services in 30 counties on the state COVID-19 watch list. Gatherings of over 10 people in households are also banned, meaning larger Bible studies and home church meetings are not permitted. And in those counties where worship services are allowed, with social distancing, singing is still banned, the Christian Post said.
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