President Trump announced on Friday, May 22 that houses of worship would open effective immediately. He shared, “Today, I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogue[s], and mosques as essential places that provide essential services. Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right, so I am correcting this injustice.. . .”
“I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there is any question, they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call. These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united. . . .”
“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now – for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less.”
Press Secretary McEnany reiterated the President’s announcement to the press.“The President’s been very clear. He wants churches to reopen. He wants them to do it safely. He wants them to do it in accordance with our guidance. It’s laid out very detailed. It’s posted now, so you can all take a look at it through it and he wants to see all of those churches open in a safe fashion.”
Since Friday’s announcement, there have been several incidents of push-back from multiple local and state officials. The White House has shared that if there is an issue with religious freedom as it pertains to these openings, church leaders should notify the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division at 202-514-4609 or contact them online at https://www.justice.gov/crt/religious-land-use-and-institutionalized-persons-act. (Please note this website is indeed for the religious freedom reporting even though the link appears to be different.)
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