In an order released on Saturday, a federal judge has temporarily blocked North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s restrictive measures against religious services.
According to The News & Observer, the governor has issued several stay-at-home orders, one that required religious services to be held “outdoors unless impossible.”
CBN News previously reported that a lawsuit was recently filed by Berean Baptist Church and its founding pastor Dr. Ronnie Baity, located in Winston-Salem, and People’s Baptist Church located in Greenville.
The Christian Law Association (CLA), a nonprofit religious law firm, representing the plaintiffs said the governor’s order violates First Amendment religious freedom.
In a tweet, Ford Porter, spokesperson for Gov. Cooper, said the office does not agree with the ruling, but the governor will not appeal the judge’s decision.
“We don’t want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of COVID-19,” the statement reads.
“While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe.”
Judge James C. Dever set a follow-up hearing for May 29.
Dr. David Gibbs, Jr., the CLA’s founder said, “We have the ability to open our churches safely, with higher standards than they are asking us to do.”