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This kind of stuff doesn’t get shared well by the mainstream media, so I was curious to find out what’s happening out there. Covid is being used as an excuse to remove our religious liberties. What measures are/have been taken against churches in your part of the world (and where is that?).

The intent of this thread is not to discuss whether or not measures are necessary.
 

Here in Alberta, a pastor in Edmonton was arrested yesterday for continuing to ignore restriction limits. He was charged and released, and will appear in court end of March. 

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Good on him, now at least he will have his say in court and perhaps he is wise enough to include why he will not comply. In the small country town our church is in they mandated that churches not hold services in the beginning, then changed it to allow a certain number of members to attend, but they has to practice social distancing.

Some other denominations complied, but we did not. Nothing was actually enforced and it was not law, but a political mandate.

We were prepared to go the distance and not comply with any mandate that went against Scripture. My pastor and I conspired that in the case of him being arrested on a worship day, I would fill in and keep the doors open. Then if I was arrested and he was out, he would continue the regular services.

After all, Scripture tells us this: Hebrews 10:25 (KJV) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Notice the last clause in that Scripture, we are actually instructed to hold services more as we see the day approaching. The day is certainly approaching isn't it?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Here in Taiwan there have been no infringements on religious freedoms. The regulations due to Covid can be inconvenient at times, especially now as we are entering the Chinese New Year week. However, these regulations are not as insane as other countries, and are not targeted to certain groups, religious or otherwise. I am very thankful for the freedoms we can still enjoy here and pray for those who are beginning to experience persecution. 

 

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Here in WA state, our governor began with the "two weeks to flatten the curve" nonsense.  We complied with the two weeks because we felt that we needed to show our concern for the community. Well, the two weeks stretched to more. Hubs prayed about what to do, and on Mothers' Day we held a parking lot service...

That was the "compromise" that the governor came up with because of protests. Outside services were "allowed," but not inside. The following week it was raining, so we went inside...and have been there since.

So far, the governor has issued 26 emergency declarations, in order to work around the law limiting the length of time he can declare an emergency. The no-indoor-service ban was lifted as long as no more than 10 people were there...then it was changed to 25% capacity or no more 200.

However, SCOTUS has issued a number of pro-religious liberty decisions and our governor saw the writing on the wall - so he dropped the 25%. And now that SCOTUS has ruled that CA has no constitutional authority to ban indoor services, I expect some other tweak from the gov.

We will not be shutting our services down again, no matter what (I've heard rumors of "climate" lockdowns coming worldwide...we'll see). But SCOTUS has ruled well and in accordance with the federal Constitution as to religious liberties. That is good news, as long as local authorities pay it heed.

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The more liberal cities and states here in America have been the more restrictive although the Supreme Court has loosened up some of the restrictions in Commiefornia. If Christians don't push back, which many Christians think is not "Christ-like", the farther they will take it. 

Here, in Virginia, it hasn't been too bad except in Northern VA where all the DC bureaucrats live. Nobody wears a mask in our church and nobody has been sick with covid. If you do wear one nobody will make you a pariah.

Now, the school I drive bus for has really been harping on the Bill Gates tracking vaccine. We've had one staff member get sick and his symptoms were no worse than any other cold this time of year. No children I am aware of have been sick. 

 

Edited by SureWord
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Bro. Mike, I am sorry to say that I think your observation of it giving people an excuse is right on. The pretenders are always on the lookout for an excuse.

Your last clause is a concern, but not a worry. Scripture tells us that in the last days there will come a great falling away from the faith. A church full of carnal Christians will never accomplish much; so it may be better if they leave and allow the strong spiritually discerning Christians to remain and carry on the work of The Lord.

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In S.E. Ohio we hold services as we always have. The govenor hasn't placed any restrictions on us. But, requests we follow guidlines. While greeting/ushering, I try to remember to always wear a face mask, but It comes off when I sit down.

 

Edited by 1Timothy115
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I have to amend my above comment as I was reminded of a situation where the new regulations have affected Christians, although they were not specifically targeted. One of the ways Taiwan has been successful in combating the virus is because they closed their borders. In order to come to Taiwan you have to meet strict criteria. There are new missionaries who were set to arrive in Taiwan this year, but due to the new regulations and not being far enough along in their paperwork they did not meet the new requirements so they cannot come to Taiwan. Two new missionary families arrived just last month because they met all the requirements and had certain documents the others did not have. So right now it's a waiting game for any new missionary to see when Taiwan will allow them entry. These new requirements for entry to Taiwan affect everybody so at this moment in time they are not targeted at keeping missionaries out of Taiwan. 

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