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Large Ministry Conference in Colorado Continues Despite COVID-19 Restrictions, Court Orders

A Medical Respiratory Mask On Holy Bible at Sunset
By Laura Temme, Esq. on October 08, 2020 8:00 AM

A conference of around 700 people hosted by televangelist Andrew Wommack continues in Colorado this week, despite state public health orders and decisions from federal judges. Last month, Liberty Counsel filed suit on behalf of Andrew Wommack Ministries claiming that Colorado Governor Jared Polis's order banning indoor gatherings of more than 175 people discriminated against religious events.

Andrew Wommack Ministries points to civil rights protests in various Colorado cities throughout the summer, claiming that allowing such gatherings but barring their conference amounts to religious discrimination.

District Court Dismisses Religious Discrimination Claims

U.S. District Court Judge Christine Arguello denied the group's request to override the public health order, finding that a gathering this large would compromise "the health of the public, which could cause the death of an untold number of innocent citizens."

An event hosted by Andrew Wommack Ministries earlier this summer was linked to 63 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and one death.

Tenth Circuit Finds Success on Appeal Is Unlikely

The organization filed for an emergency injunction with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 1, arguing the public health order should not be enforced while their appeal is pending. The Tenth Circuit denied the request for an injunction Monday afternoon, finding that Andrew Wommack Ministries was unlikely to succeed on appeal.

But, the four-day conference went ahead as planned at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado. Teller County and Colorado public health officials are calling on Andrew Wommack Ministries to provide the district court with a reason they shouldn't be held in contempt.

Related Resources:

Federal Judge Finds Pennsylvania COVID-19 Restrictions Unconstitutional (FindLaw's Third Circuit)

A Pandemic Halloween: No Tricks, No Treats? (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)

Can the Mayor of LA Shut Off Influencers' Utilities for Partying? (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)

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