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California Pastors Sue Governor Over Ban On Religious Gatherings

Three churches are suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom and local officials in response to a ban on religious gatherings to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the lawsuit, the pastors claim that the stay-at-home orders violate their freedom of religion, speech and assembly. The lawsuit echoes a larger tug-of-war between protecting civil liberties and protecting public health playing out across the nation.

Churches in Kansas and New Mexico have filed similar lawsuits, as protests against wide-reaching stay-at-home orders erupted in Michigan and North Carolina earlier this week.

We hear from one of the plaintiffs in the California lawsuit, Patrick Scales. He’s the pastor of Shield of Faith Family Church in Fontana, California.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.