It was just a few days ago that Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot sent police officers to Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and other churches in Chicago to enforce their absurd, unrealistic and unconstitutional orders!

Not only they forced our neighbors to remove their cars from many blocks around the churches, in a cold rainy day, but they sent them letters justifying their actions and blaming the churches!

That was reckless, inciting hate and using intimidation tactics!

Before the evening service on May 17th, police cars have blocked the entrance to our private parking lot!

The next week, they sent police officers to our churches to bring citations for “disorderly conduct”!

Worth mentioning is the fact that all precautionary measures and social distancing enforcement were ignored by our elected officials, still threatening us with unspecified actions and even sending a letter ordering us to abate, lest they will use “summary abatement” to… “remove the nuisance” we were perceived to be!

As we approached the deadline for the Governor to respond to our emergency injunction request at the Supreme Court, he relented and asked to dismiss the case as the orders were completely removed and replaced with… recommendations!

All of the sudden, from being in the worst state, churches found themselves in the best possible state as far as holding public services is concerned!

And yet, right after this change of course, protests and riots erupted around the nation and in the City of Chicago, as a result of the murder of George Floyd by an officer in Minnesota.

While condemnation of this heinous act was universal and the officer was fired, indicted and arrested, vandalism, looting and destruction of property is still going on everywhere!

The Governor of Illinois and the Mayor of Chicago completely forgot about Coronavirus, the danger of large gatherings and rules of social distancing and are praising the… “massive and peaceful” protests and protesters “exercising their 1st Amendment rights”!

I’m listening and I can’t believe my ears!

Folks, it was/is all a lie!

They don’t care about saving lives, science is used just as a pawn and their ordinances only apply against churches!

It is in plain sight, shameless and shameful!

As they’ve got bigger fish to fry, we are enjoying peace and quiet, at least for a little while!

Gone are the police cars, the media vans, the lights and microphones, letters and citations!

But not for long!

They might’ve lost this time around, but they’ll be back with a vengeance!

Their hypocrisy was blatant, their contempt unveiled, their readiness to use extreme actions demonstrated, and their determination to shut us down and keep us shut was audible and visible!

So, what now?

Are we going to be as unprepared and as compliant the next time around?

You know there will be a next time around, don’t you?

Are we going to be ordered around again by an incompetent, tyrannical and narcissistic government?

Are we going to be ignored, talked down to, intimidated and forced into compliance at the cost of destroying our churches and the spirituality of our nation… or what’s left of it?

I say, never again!

About Cristian Ionescu

Pastor Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church Chicago, USA

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