Throughout the state of Kentucky, several churches defied Governor Andy Beshear’s (D-Ky.) orders prohibiting church services on Easter Sunday, and were met with state troopers taking down license plate numbers of all worshippers in attendance at such services, as reported by USA Today.
One such church was Maryville Baptist Church, where about 50 people had gathered for Easter Sunday services despite the governor’s stay-at-home order, which listed churches as “non-essential.” Outside the church, two state troopers patrolled the parking lot, placing notices in the windshields of every single car threatening “further enforcement measures,” and writing down every license plate number. Several worshippers who covered up their license plates had their VIN numbers taken down instead.
Maryville’s pastor, Reverend Jack Roberts, said that when he arrived at his church early on Easter Sunday morning, he found “several piles of nails” dumped on the pavement at the entrance to the church parking lot.
Although multiple churches instead changed their formats to “drive-thru” services where worshippers remained in their cars, Reverend Roberts has refused to stop holding in-person services in recent weeks, saying that “everybody has to do what they feel comfortable with.” He also pointed out that, according to both the United States Constitution and the Kentucky state constitution, such enforcement measures were “infringing on the church’s rights.”