Apr 19, 2020 - Health

Judge blocks Kansas coronavirus order limiting religious gatherings

Democratic Governor of Kansas Laura Kelly delivers the keynote speech at today's Emporia State University Constitution Day

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. Photo: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

A federal judge issued an order Saturday blocking a Kansas measure that limited attendance at in-person religious worship gatherings to 10 people or fewer during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Many churches have moved to online services, but some are pushing back against orders preventing them from holding in-person gatherings. The Alliance Defending Freedom group, which represented two Baptist churches in the case, has filed several lawsuits challenging such orders in the U.S.

Zoom in: U.S. District Judge John Broomes' temporary Kansas order will remain in effect until May 2 and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

What they're saying: Per AP, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) said in a statement of her executive order, "This is not about religion. This is about a public health crisis."

The big picture: The DOJ announced earlier this month it would take action against local authorities that have cracked down on religious services as part of restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Go deeper: God and COVID-19

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