Pastor Joseph Wyrostek of Metro Paige International Church in Chicago told Newsmax TV he won’t stop holding large, live services despite lockdowns in the city.
On Tuesday’s "Greg Kelly Reports," Wyrostek said he decided to start holding bigger in-person services because he lost trust in the governor and mayor’s actions to get churches back to full capacity.
“We lost trust in the governor and mayor to actually get us to a full house on our own,” he said.
He said Mayor Lori Lightfoot's 5-step reopening plan doesn’t allow churches to operate at 50% capacity until Chicago hits phase four. Chicago churches are permitted to hold live services if they have 10 or fewer people in attendance.
“This isn’t even close to being fair to us,” he said, adding other businesses have been operating at levels over 50% occupancy. “In the First Amendment, the church comes first, not Walmart and Walmart has had their 50 [percent occupancy] for a long time.”
The pastor said his services have been operating at about a one-third capacity. He is still holding online services as well for people who want to continue to stay at home.
Wyrostek is also not practicing social distancing at his church services. Kelly asked Wyrostek about videos that show people shaking hands and hugging.
“We have the right to practice our religion without prohibition and part of that is shaking hands, hugging and the human touch we know is a part of immunity and it's also a part of our psychology,” he said.
Wyrostek said he doesn’t want to offend anyone and those who want to continue social distancing can do so. He said bringing people together will help Chicago toward herd immunity.
“Trust us, we will do what’s best, we love people,” he said. “We hope to sit with the governor and mayor and work something out.”
Important: See Newsmax TV now carried in 70 million cable homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102, Mediacom Ch. 277, or Find More Cable Systems – Click Here.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.