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pastor rodney howardbrowne river church tampa florida.png
World News

Churches allowed to stay open in Florida despite Rodney Howard-Browne closing church due to threats

by Cara Bentley

Florida has now decided to allow church services to continue, as the church that wanted it has decided to close.
The River church in Tampa, Florida, still held two services last Sunday despite advice to have 'far-reaching social distancing measures.'

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was charged with unlawful assembly and violation of a public health emergency order. His bail was $500 and he was released. 

Pastor Howard-Browne said in a recent service that it was a free speech issue, saying: "We are not a non-essential service…suddenly we are demonised because we believe in a God who heals."

However, now the state has updated its rules, saying "attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship" is counted as an essential service, something Pastor Howard-Browne argued last week. 

Otherwise, the Governor of Florida, Ron Desantis, recommends not attending social gatherings of more than ten people. 

But Howard-Browne has already said he will shut the church this weekend because he claims congregation members are getting death threats and the church is being fired at.

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