An Appeal Letter to Governor Pritzker from Illinois Faith Leaders and Churches

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Governors care about the people; so do church leaders. We need to work together.

May 27, 2020

Dear Governor Pritzker,

On behalf of clergy and religious congregations across the State of Illinois, we the undersigned wish to express our deep gratitude for your thoughtful and energetic leadership during the crisis in which our State is currently immersed. The need for your strong leadership is unusually apparent to us, as our congregations have been greatly impacted by this crisis. Some of us have been personally present at the burial of victims of the novel coronavirus and all of us minister daily to vast numbers of people affected by the social and economic dislocations of this era.

Because we are at the helm of churches that shape the opinions and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, we are very eager to be an asset to you and the health of our State in this significant time. We feel this acutely now in light of the rising unrest increasingly surfacing among our constituencies. We want to work with you to counter this so that our communities do not become further conflicted and law enforcement is not required to deal with circumstances harmful to everyone.

The growing resistance we are meeting emerges from a sense that the concerns of religious communities are not being taken into account with the seriousness with which the state is approaching other segments of the society. As pastors, we can assure you that the safety of our congregants and our surrounding communities are of the utmost concern to us. The current guidelines create an untenable position for us as churches, especially as we are eager to serve the spiritual and material needs of our communities.

You have carefully consulted with medical health experts, business leaders, and civic authorities to craft a coordinated response to …

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