'New evidence of Illinois religious discrimination'

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By Pastor Mark Surburg - Posted at Surburg's Blog:

Evidence shared by the Rev. Timothy Scharr, President of the Southern Illinois District of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod demonstrates that Gov. Pritzker’s decision not to include church services among “essential activities” was an intentional act of discrimination. President Scharr, along with the presidents of the Central Illinois District (the Rev. Mark Miller) and Northern Illinois District (the Rev. Dr. Allan Buss) of the LCMS sent the following letter to Gov. Pritzker in April arguing that churches should be included among “essential activities.” Their reasonable and well stated request was ignored.

____________________________


17 April 2020

The Honorable J.B. Pritzker, Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Pritzker,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the crucified, risen and returning Lord!

The nearly 500 congregations of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod within Illinois pray for you and all magistrates regularly. We pray that the Lord may grant you good health, wisdom and discernment especially as you guide our state in this time of COVID-19. We further pray for all medical personnel, researchers and first responders who serve unselfishly.

Recognizing the danger we face, and the need to mitigate the spread of this virus, our churches, schools and people are following the guidelines issued by the State of Illinois. We have abided by these recommendations even during the most sacred week of the Christian Church Year. What troubled us from the very beginning was the exclusion of the Church and her ministry from the list of essential activities. We are more than a food pantry or transient assistance service. We prepare people to live now and for the life of the world to come.

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