California lifting restrictions on in-person worship | TheHill – The Hill

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By Joseph Choi - 04/13/21 08: 46 AM EDT

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California lifted limits on indoor religious worship services on Monday in response to a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the COVID-19 health restrictions.Despite the ruling, the California Department of Public Health said indoor gatherings are still "strongly discouraged," The Associated Press reports. The department advised places of worship to limit attendance to 25 percent of a building's capacity for those in areas in the top two highest tiers of pandemic severity.In areas that are in the lowest two tiers of coronavirus restrictions, the department advised 50 percent capacity.“Location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory, but are strongly recommended,” the new guidance said.The AP notes that indoor limits were put in place in February to replace an all-out ban. The Supreme Court had previously struck down an all-out ban on religious services, but had allowed for limits to be put in place. However, the court ruled last Friday that California cannot enforce limits on home-based religious worship such as Bible studies and prayer meetings.The Center for American Liberty, which has filed multiple lawsuits against California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomUnprecedented federal borrowing floods state budgets California ban on assault weapons ruled unconstitutional by federal judge California state workers union donating M to help Newsom fight recall MORE (D) on behalf of churches, praised the lift on indoor service limitations.“Governor Newsom should have done this a long time ago,” Harmeet K. Dhillon, founder of the center, said in a statement to the AP. “For over a year, the state of California has targeted the faith community for discriminatory treatment depriving them of their fundamental right to worship.”

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