De Blasio Threatens to Close Churches, Synagogues 'Permanently' For Holding Services

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Posted: Mar 30, 2020 8:30 AM
De Blasio Threatens to Close Churches, Synagogues 'Permanently' For Holding Services

Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to shut down churches and synagogues permanently if they violated the state’s stay-at-home orders.

"A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread," the mayor said Friday.

"I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services," he added.

Non-compliance could also bring additional action, including fines and “potentially closing the building permanently.”

Social media users had a variety of reactions to the mayor's statement, from wondering why he didn't mention mosques to reminding him about a little thing called the U.S. Constitution, and also bringing up how irresponsible he was in encouraging New Yorkers to continue to go on with their lives despite coronavirus. 

President Trump announced Sunday that social distancing guidelines would continue through April 30, meaning churches would be closed for Easter, the most important religious holiday of the year.