CHICAGO—Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago churches can hold services with no more than 50 people, so long as they, “burn the church to the ground first.”
The city will allow churches to have 25 percent capacity or a maximum of 50 people, she said, as Chicago continues easing its stay-at-home restrictions put in place for the coronavirus pandemic. But, congregants must cause some damage in the same way George Floyd protesters did.
“We’re going to start there, we’re going to give churches the ability to see how that goes and then we’ll be in constant (contact) to see if we need to make some modifications or adjustments along the way,” she said.
Health experts have declared that being in large groups does not in fact cause the spread of coronavirus if the group is looting and or destroying property in the name of social justice.
Lightfoot’s announcement caps a conflict that began last month, when Metro Praise International Church on the Northwest Side opened its doors for in-person services in an act church officials described as “passive resistance” to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.
That defiance led Lightfoot to tweet, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re doing. When you gather like this, you are putting yourself and your loved ones in serious danger, unless of course, you’re burning down random buildings and rioting.”
The city ultimately fined three churches for violating the order, but businessman and former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson vowed to pay their citations for them.