In the aftermath of a week in which the First Amendment’s assurance that Americans would be allowed the free exercise of religion was tested as rarely before in the nation’s history, Attorney General William Barr has announced that the federal government will be investigating limits placed on church attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In many states, social distancing guidelines have voluntarily limited church attendance, while in others, government has actively banned services.
The limits on church attendance, coming as they did just before Easter, led to flashpoints across America where churches and secular authorities came in conflict.
The conflicts led to a Saturday tweet from Kerri Kupiec, director of communication and public affairs for the Department of Justice.
“During this sacred week for many Americans, AG Barr is monitoring govt regulation of religious services,” she said. “While social distancing policies are appropriate during this emergency, they must be applied evenhandedly & not single out religious orgs. Expect action from DOJ next week!”