Md. Pastor’s Service Interrupted by Police for Violating Social Distancing Rules

Melanie Arter | April 1, 2020 | 3:29pm EDT
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(Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

(Correction: Clarifies which stay-at-home order the Florida pastor was accused of violating.)

A pastor in Prince George’s County, Md., held a church service with about 50 people over the weekend, violating the governor’s social distancing rules, and it was interrupted by the police, Fox 5 DC reported.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s order barred large gatherings of more than 10 people. Anyone who is caught violating the order faces up to a year in jail or a $5,000 fine.

Maryland state police told people at the event at Evangel Cathedral Church in Bowie, Md., that they were violating the governor’s order. 

However, no one was arrested or charged.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the pastor of a megachurch was arrested and charged this week with violating the Hillsborough County’s stay-at-home order by holding two Sunday services with hundreds of people.

The county’s order requires that large gatherings, including those held by faith-based groups, must be limited to less than 10 people.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne turned himself into the police in Hernando County and was charged with unlawful assembly and violation of a public health emergency order.

He was released on $500 bail.

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