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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb; Indiana churches essential

The governor of Indiana recently signed a bill deeming churches essential during a public health emergency, such as the pandemic.

Indiana Republican Governor Eric Holcomb signed legislation last week to protect churches by designating them as essential and preventing state officials from treating them differently than secular entities during a public health emergency.

SB 263 passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 74–20 and the state Senate with a vote of 36–10, The Daily Wire reported. The bill states that “religious organizations provide essential services that are necessary for the health and welfare of the public during a disaster emergency.”

“[T]he state and a political subdivision may not impose restrictions on … the operation of a religious organization; or … religious services that are more restrictive than the restrictions imposed on other businesses and organizations that provide essential services to the public,” the bill reads.

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Greg Chafuen applauded the bill in a statement, part of which said: “Houses of worship and religious organizations provide soul-sustaining operations that are essential to our society and protected by the First Amendment.”

This bill is an important step forward in restoring religious freedom as we get closer to a post-COVID world. Government leaders have used the pandemic as a tool for restricting the First Amendment rights of Americans across the country.

If you agree, donate to Americans United for Values and defend religious freedom!