Mississippi mayor pulls back on church ban

State / Regional

This image provided by Alliance Defending Freedom shows the sign for parking lot church services outside of Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss., on April 9, 2020. The Justice Department has weighed in on a local Mississippi case involving a church that says its religious freedoms were violated. Temple Baptist in Greenville has been holding drive-in services for congregants during the coronavirus outbreak. (Alliance Defending Freedom via AP)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi mayor says people may attend drive-in church services during the coronavirus pandemic. But, they must keep their windows up. The city of Greenville is facing two lawsuits and pushback from the U.S. attorney general.

The conflict is over a local order that bans drive-in worship and church services with more than 10 people inside a building. Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons said Gov. Tate Reeves provided clear guidance Wednesday that drive-in services, with windows up, are allowed during a statewide stay-home order.

Reeves has said government cannot close churches, but he has urged pastors to hold online services.

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