(TargetLiberty.org) – A Virginia county court has dropped charges against a pastor accused of holding a small sermon in violation of lockdown rules. Pastor Kevin Wilson, who preaches at the Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island, was charged on April 5 while he led a service.
Virginia has a limit of 10 people for religious services, imposed by Governor Ralph Northam (D) in March and it’s still in force. Wilson was preaching to a congregation of 16 people – but the church has a capacity of around 300, so there was plenty of space for social distancing. Wilson’s case became a national issue, with many saying it showed anti-religious bias and violated Wilson’s constitutional rights.
Pastor Kevin Wilson and the Lighthouse Fellowship Church have landed in the center of a national debate over how the government can keep citizens safe during a deadly pandemic without violating their constitutional rights https://t.co/70bmNGXglj
— TIME (@TIME) May 22, 2020
Now the charges, which could have seen Wilson fined $2,500 or jailed for a year, have been dropped – but Wilson’s attorney says they should never have been filed at all. Under Gov Northam’s stay-at-home order, religious services are limited to 10, but unlimited numbers of people can gather at the church for food distribution or other social services.
Attorney Mat Staver says that’s clear religious discrimination, and he’s helping Wilson sue Northam in a case that’s supported by Vice President Pence.
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