As Christian Church Members Face Arrests, NY Mosque Still Open

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While many Christian pastors and churchgoers in America are finding themselves ticketed and even arrested for conducting church services in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a New York mosque is garnering praise for staying open to “keep the faith.”

According to the Syracuse Advance Local, the Mosque of Jesus, Son of Mary on the city’s North Side now has a “clean room” created by a worshiper with a background in asbestos abatement.

Irfan Elahi created a prayer room covered in plastic with special ventilation, allowing daily prayer to continue in the 116-year-old former Catholic church as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches. The room is lined with plastic. Two machines siphon air out of the room to create negative pressure, and the air in the room is recycled every four minutes.

Up to ten worshipers are allowed in the room at a time, and volunteers disinfect the room after each prayer. The room gets a deep cleaning after the last prayer around 9:45 at night, Elahi said.

Elahi told the Advance Local that mosque leaders were worried that Muslims in the neighborhood would panic if their daily prayers were canceled. Many of them, Elahi added, are refugees who speak little English, and their first impulse in times of crisis is to visit the mosque more and “pray harder.”

Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, however, are not getting quite such positive responses for continuing to conduct services during the pandemic.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city could shut down such houses of worship if religious services did not cease.

“A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread,” de Blasio said at a news conference just weeks before Easter Sunday. “I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services.”

De Blasio even promised to “take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently” if Christians and Jews did not comply.

Meanwhile, in Greenville, Mississippi, Temple Baptist Church attempted to comply with social distancing guidelines by holding drive-up services. In return, local police gave $500 tickets to attendees who would not leave the service.

As we reported earlier this month, Tampa, Florida pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested for continuing to hold services in spite of reportedly employing social distancing while doing so.

“We feel that it is very important, at this time, that we keep our doors open for anyone who needs prayer or ministry and to make ourselves available to minister hope and healing and comfort to them,” Howard-Browne’s church said at the time. “We are the Body of Christ and the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe God‘s Word to us, which says to trust Him and to not be fearful but to have faith in Him.”

Even online Christian church services were singled out when a California county issued a requirement that such services do not use singing or wood instruments while livestreaming.

As BizPac Review reports, Christians have been forced to take legal action to protect their God-given and Constitutionally protected right to worship.

At least three lawsuits were filed last week: one in California, one in Kentucky and another in Mississippi from Temple Baptist. BizPac also reports that more suits may be on the way.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, leftist authoritarians can still be counted on to apply the law unequally and in accordance with intersectional progressivist values. Conservative Islam wouldn’t mesh with liberal progressivism even in the loosest terms, yet the religion routinely receives special treatment. It’s simply shameful.

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