Some churches are insisting on having services, despite several states demanding people practice social distancing as one way to stop the rampant spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Reverend Al Sharpton is now speaking directly to Black churches who have not heeded the warning and asking pastors and parishioners alike to stay away from public services.
Sharpton wrote on Twitter, “I convened a call with the heads of the nation’s largest historically Black religious denominations & other faith leaders to call on clergy to refrain from having church services as we head into Palm Sunday and Easter Holy Week.”
Sharpton is asking for church leaders to create all church services online for the near future.
Just one example of a church refusing to obey physical distancing is Tony Spell, the pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On Sunday, March 22, Rev. Spell had over 1,100 people at his church services on Sunday, March 22. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards had already ordered everyone to avoid crowds of 50 or more in an act of social distancing to avoid the further spreading of the COVID-19 disease.
According to WAFB, Spell said, "It’s not a concern. The virus, we believe, is politically motivated. We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says."
He also added, "We have 27 buses on Sundays picking up people in a five-parish area.”
He has now been charged with six counts of disobeying powers of government.
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
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