'Not going to let Satan win': Churches in US defy stay-at-home orders to hold services amid coronavirus pandemic

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Apr 06, 2020, 02.58 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

Coronavirus in USA Photograph:( Reuters )

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Currently, the US has over 300,000 active cases of the virus, with over 8,000 reported deaths

The world is increasingly falling into the grip of COVID-19, the pandemic which has claimed over 69,000 lives globally.

The epicentre has shifted continents twice, first from China in Asia to European countries like Italy, and then to North America - the United States.

Currently, the US has over 300,000 active cases of the virus, with over 8,000 reported deaths. The toll is expected to increase over the next few weeks before the virus heats its peak in the country.

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However, many religious congregations are defying the lockdown and social distancing directives. 

In the US state of Louisiana, “Palm Sunday” was celebrated over the weekend. And the coronavirus didn’t stop a suburban church! Palm Sunday refers to the beginning of holy week among Christian churches.

The Life Tabernacle Church defied the stay-at-home orders on Sunday, with the pastor, Tony Spell telling people that there was “nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Besides this, across the area, gatherings of over 1,000 people have been happening in full-swing!

“We’re defying the rules because the commandment of God is to spread the Gospel,” Louisiana pastor Tony Spell said on Saturday.

The state of Louisiana has become one of the virus hotspots in the region, with over 400 deaths and 13,000 active cases.

“They would rather come to church and worship like free people than live like prisoners in their homes,” Spell further said.

Even when the majority of churches have been holding services online, many churches continue to defy the orders, in different states like Florida, Texas, California.

“Satan’s trying to keep us apart, he’s trying to keep us from worshipping together. But we’re not going to let him win,” Kelly Burton, the pastor at Lone Star Baptist Church in Lone Star, Texas, said on Facebook.

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Even the chronic denier of coronavirus, President Donald Trump recently warned that “there’s going to be a lot of death” in the country, and asked the citizens to prepare for a big surge in deaths.

As per data from White House, over 1,00,000 to 2,40,000 Americans could be killed due to the pandemic, even with lockdowns in place.

The state of New York remains the hardest-hit, the number of deaths rising everyday, and medical supplies quickly running out!