"Worship Meeting" by Josué Goge / CC BY 2.0

Prayers and precautions: Pritzker eases religious rules, but most faiths still opting to ‘err on the side of caution’

Jun 1, 2020

By Mitchell Armentrout

How many worshippers are welcomed into churches, synagogues and mosques across Illinois is now a matter of recommendation, rather than requirement.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker made the significant change regarding capacity limits at houses of worship in his latest coronavirus disaster proclamation as residents move into the next stage of Illinois’ gradual reopening — but that doesn’t mean the pews will be packed on Sunday.

Not even at Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church on the Northwest Side.

The Albany Park church’s pastor, the Rev. Cristian Ionescu, had claimed victory over “tyranny” after Pritzker issued a relaxed guidance for religious gatherings that rendered moot Elim’s legal challenge against the governor’s more stringent stay-at-home order.

But Ionescu is now preaching caution, not crowds.

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