Victory for Christians all over America is here. The District of Columbia was forced to pay a massive fine to The Capitol Hill Baptist Church, marking a major win for religious freedoms.
Following filing a lawsuit contesting the District of Columbia’s limits on meetings at churches during the COVID-19 virus outbreak, a Washington D.C. church was granted $220,000.
D.C. Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser’s limitations were released on March 11, 2020; these limitations outlawed all outdoor and indoor religious services of 100 or even more.
The limitations furthermore maintained even if attendees wore a mask and maintained social separation; therefore, members of Capitol Hill Baptist Church have petitioned D.C. authorities.
The Question: Why Can Secular Activities Continue While Church Cannot?
Pastor Mark Dever with CHBC leaders obtained a preliminary injunction against Bowser’s limitations in October of that year (2020); this injunction allowed the church to continue outdoors religious services with required safeguards such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
— Mark A. Kellner (@Mark_Kellner) July 8, 2021
According to the agreement, the city will not implement any present or prospective COVID-19 limitations that would prevent CHBC from assembling as a single assembly in the area.
The county also acknowledges the following: if new limitations on worship services are imposed in the guise of minimizing COVID-19 or a variation of it, they will never be more stringent than equivalent non-religious activities. This was determined by the Supreme Court, according to the resolution.
The county also promised to cover the costs of the church’s legal representation.
Senior Pastor Mark Dever has been at CHBC since 1994; he is a globally known Christian leader and the creator of the 9Marks movement. This movement offers pastoral and organizational tools for places of worship around the country.
D.C. settles with Capitol Hill Baptist Church over pandemic restrictions https://t.co/XE0h4riGzc
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) July 8, 2021
Capitol Hill Baptist Only Stopped Service Once Before During Spanish Flu
With the exception of three weeks during the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, he and the 850-member church have performed church services every Sunday since 1878.
According to Hiram Sasser (the senior general counsel for First Liberty Foundation), all Capitol Hill’s Baptist congregation ever sought was the equal application of the law so that they might meet united securely as a congregation.
The institution is pleased and happy to be free of this tragedy. According to the Washington Times, government leaders need to understand that illegal limits on First Amendment rights are unacceptable and expensive.
In 1874 the Metropolitan Baptist Association was formed to acquire property, erect a building, support the Sunday School, and work toward establishing a Baptist church on Capitol Hill. (Picture of the building they met in 1878-1888). pic.twitter.com/NycpD9OymG
— CHBC History Project (@chbchistory) July 8, 2021
All throughout the COVID-19 epidemic, shutdowns in the U.S began in March 2020; these shutdowns also compelled religious ceremonies, such as those involving Roman Catholic, Orthodox Jewish, and Pentecostal organizations, to grind to a standstill.
Nevertheless, whenever some governments put more severe limitations on churches than on equivalent non-Christian activities, the enforced closures become a persistent problem.
During the disaster, the Supreme Court overturned various bans on worship services; as a result, a number of states began to relax their restrictions.
This enabled places of worship to reopen for in-person ceremonies, but with virus-related adjustments in effect.