Churches Coronavirus
The National City church where police responded Sunday. Photo credit: OnScene.TV

National City police on Sunday responded to a report that a local church was conducting a service in violation of public health orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The incident occurred during a time of increased tensions between some churches and authorities attempting to enforce orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Officers arrived at the Templo de los Milagros Church (Temple of the Miracles), on L Avenue and 18th Street, early Sunday and confirmed that the worship service was being held.

Commanding officers directed the responding officers to allow the service to continue to honor the rights of freedom of religion and assembly, according to OnScene.TV.

OnScene reported that the unidentified pastor of the church said that members wore facial coverings during the service and practiced social distancing.

When advised that his congregants had violated health orders, according to OnScene.TV, he did not want to speak further.

On Friday, a Chula Vista pastor and Carmel Valley rabbi sued state, county and city officials for not including churches and other places of worship among operations cleared to reopen during the pandemic.

A Campo church also argued in federal court that San Diego County should have allowed them to open their doors for Easter. U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant denied the request, but the county amended its public health order to allow drive-in services.

The church had sought the drive-in option as an alternative.

– Staff reports