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Some Chicago Churches Again Set To Hold Sunday Services Despite Gov. Pritzker’s Stay-At-Home Order

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some churches in Chicago were set to open their doors to worshipers on Sunday, going against Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

As CBS 2’s Vi Ngyuen reported, some church leaders on the city’s South Side are praising President Donald Trump and his call to reopen churches during the pandemic. Just days ago, the president called on governors across the country to allow churches to reopen.

President Trump said churches and other houses of worship qualify as essential.

New Canaan Land Missionary Baptist Church, at 5957 S. Peoria St. in Englewood, will hold services on Sunday. The pastor told CBS 2 on Saturday that he wants the number of worshipers to increase to 50 people.

Under Gov. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, services are now limited to 10 people. But the pastor wants Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot to reopen churches.

The mayor has asked religious leaders to hold off until she starts reopening the city next month.

As for services on Sunday, the pastor said he is taking all the necessary precautions.

“We are all going to social distance,” said the Rev. Pervis Thomas. “We are going to sanitize when we can. We have masks already prepared. We are not going to do no singing. The choir is is not going to do no singing. Elderly is going to stay home. Sick, those that are compromised, those that are diabetics, those with hypertension are going to stay home. And we just want to just worship freely.”

Thomas said the church will have one service on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

RELATED: Neighbors Protest Metro Praise International Church For Holding Services During Pandemic | Belmont Cragin Church To Continue Defying Pritzker’s Order After President Declares Churches Essential

Meanwhile, Metro Praise International Church, at 5405 W. Diversey Ave. in Belmont Cragin, will also hold services for the third weekend in a row. Two services are scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday.

On Facebook, church leaders shared precautions that are being taken per guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are holding the services on Sunday in solidarity with President Trump.

The city fined Metro Praise International Church $500 last week for defying the stay-at-home order. The pastor said he is ready to face another fine.

Chicago Police said officers will continue to monitor large gatherings in their districts.

Source: CBS Chicago

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