Colorado Governor Declares Churches Essential

Dec 9, 2020

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis has finally dropped Colorado’s COVID unconstitutional limits on religious gatherings and declared that houses of worship are essential and removed attendance caps on worship effective Monday, December 7, at 5:00 PM MT. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reversed course and took this action because of the Supreme Court’s decision last week in Liberty Counsel’s case of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry in California and the Court’s ruling on Thanksgiving Eve in favor of New York churches and synagogues. 

On October 23, Gov. Jared Polis revised the COVID restrictions for churches from the prior 175-person limit to 175 people per room, not counting staff with no limit on the number of staff. Now, the Third Amended Public Health Order 20-36 states, “Worship and ceremonies such as weddings and funerals are classified as essential. This means that they must do their best to follow public health recommendations but may exceed recommended capacity caps if they cannot conduct their essential activity within those restrictions. They still must require masks indoors and other prevention measures like six-foot spacing between members of different households and appropriate sanitation. Outdoor activities are still strongly preferred.”

Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWMI) is a Colorado nonprofit charitable corporation and religious ministry that provides Christian and biblically based conferences, seminars, events, and other religious gatherings. AWMI also has an affiliated ministry, Charis Bible College, which is a Christian college providing in-person and online biblical education courses. Charis Bible College currently has approximately 652 enrolled students, and typically has up to 200 more in regular enrollment. AWMI’s facilities at Charis Bible College can seat a total of 5,000 people since the main auditorium/sanctuary seats 3,100 individuals, and the remaining classrooms and event spaces can host 1,900 individuals. Liberty Counsel represents AWMI. 

Liberty Counsel has been litigating the attendance caps on worship in Colorado on behalf of AWMI. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Governor Jared Polis is finally beginning to see the light. The Supreme Court has made it very clear that the courts and the states must begin applying the First Amendment to protect houses of worship. It is past time.” 

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