‘The only thing she hasn’t done yet is beat the doors down and arrest our members…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reportedly dispatched armed police officers to interrupt and break up a church service last week, according to Courtney Lewis, the pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church.
It was “like the Soviet-style KGB,” Lewis told the Todd Starnes Radio Show.
Lewis said he was in the middle of preaching his sermon when three squad cars and two unmarked cars showed up at the church’s front doors. The officers were denied entry due to Cornerstone Baptist’s safety protocol, Lewis said, but an individual in one of the unmarked cars began taking photographs of church members as they exited the building.
Several Chicago churches have begun holding services again despite Lightfoot’s attempts to shut them down.
At least three churches — Metro Praise International Church, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church, and Philadelphia Romanian Church — were slapped with $500 fines last Sunday and told that future violations could result in a church being “declared a public health nuisance” and forcibly closed, according to Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
“The only thing she hasn’t done yet is beat the doors down and arrest our members,” Lewis said of Lightfoot.
Lewis said Cornerstone Baptist went out of its way to comply with health officials’ social distancing guidelines, and asked U.S. Attorney John Lausch to take up the church’s case and fight against Lightfoot’s attempts to “intimidate” churches into submission.
“We are trying to follow the laws of man as much as reasonably possible but when the laws of man conflict with the laws of God I as a pastor have a duty to follow the laws of God,” Lewis wrote in a letter to Launch. “We will not be intimidated by this overhanded government bully, but we are requesting the assistance of our president and our Justice Department in correcting this grave miscarriage of the law.”
According to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan, churches in the state will not be allowed to hold full services until a vaccine for the coronavirus is developed.