California lifting capacity limits at churches after legal rulings

This comes after a lengthy legal battle between the state and religious leaders and a recent court ruling.
FRESNO, Calif. -- California has lifted all capacity limits on churches and other places of worship.

This comes after a lengthy legal battle between the state and religious leaders and a recent court ruling.

The state's website now reads:

Effective immediately, location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.

"The law that we obey first of all is the law of God," said Jim Franklin, Senior Pastor at Cornerstone Church. "But the law that is in this land is the constitution of the United States."

Cornerstone Church took part in one of several lawsuits against the State of California and Governor Gavin Newsom over religious freedom.

"What this does, is this vindicates us," he said. "We have said all along that we have a constitutional right to meet and to worship."



Previous red tier restrictions limited houses of worship to 25% capacity while indoors.

"Churches are going to do it safely. They care about their people," said Franklin. "They aren't going to put their people within danger. But we don't want the governor telling us that we can't worship."

For leaders at Temple Beth Israel said in-person, indoor worship is still out of the question.

"It actually hasn't changed over the last year. Once we hit the shutdown the building shut down. We shifted over to Zoom," said Rabbi Rick Winer of Temple Beth Israel.

Rabbi Winer says his congregation is in no rush to return. In fact, he says attendance numbers have remained high.

"The Supreme Court saying that religious organizations can come together does not necessarily mean that is the best scientific recommendation for a community," he says.
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