Preserving Religious Liberty

NYCF opposes all initiatives that seek to limit the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the free exercise of religion, and supports equal access for Christian students and for churches and Christian groups that use public buildings.

Legislature Passes Bill That Would Permit Virtual Church Board Meetings

By Albany Update | Jun 4, 2020

On May 27, 2020, the Senate and the Assembly each passed Bill S.8412-Benjamin/A.10498-Paulin. If signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, this bill will allow business corporations, not-for-profit corporations, and some religious corporations to conduct certain types of business meetings virtually through audio-visual technologies so long as Gov. Cuomo’s declaration of a state disaster emergency…

Shepherds Establish Safe Re-Openings For Spiritual Flock

By Albany Update | Jun 1, 2020

In recent days, progress has been made toward the goal of safe church re-openings in New York. After announcing that he would allow religious gatherings of 10 or fewer individuals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.32 on May 21, 2020. That order modified Executive Order 202.10 to “permit a gathering of ten or…

How Will Courts Rule on Constitutional Challenges to Orders Affecting Churches?

By Albany Update | May 22, 2020

Both in New York and across the nation, government restrictions on mass gatherings have dramatically impacted churches. Some churches, believing that constitutional lines have been crossed, have chosen to challenge those restrictions in court. According to WORLD magazine, courts are “handing out mixed results to churches that challenge restrictions on worship services during the coronavirus…

Governor Allows For Religious Gatherings Of Ten Or Less

By Albany Update | May 22, 2020

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that religious gatherings of up to 10 people could resume beginning on May 21, 2020. Prior to the Governor’s announcement, all “non-essential” gatherings of persons—a term which included worship services, according to a state guidance document—had been banned in New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the issuance…

Pastors Ask Cuomo To Prioritize The Re-Opening Of Churches

By Albany Update | May 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense suffering and death in New York, especially in New York City and its environs. To protect the public, and to avert even greater suffering, Gov. Andrew Cuomo placed New York on PAUSE. On March 23, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 10, which directed that all non-essential gatherings…

Is Your Church Ready To Re-Open After Coronavirus?

By Albany Update | May 8, 2020

In recent weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has begun to lay out plans for the gradual re-opening of New York’s businesses and communities. As the Governor’s plans unfold, churches across New York are making plans as well. Pastors and church leaders have two challenging questions to consider as they contemplate life after the coronavirus lockdown. Click…

DOJ Files Statement of Support in Virginia Religious Liberty Case

By Albany Update | May 8, 2020

On May 3, 2020, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a Statement of Interest in the case of Lighthouse Christian Church v. Northam. The federal case was filed by Lighthouse Christian Church in Chincoteague, Virginia. The church sued Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam after police served a summons upon its pastor for holding an…

NYCF Offers Churches Drive-In Service Guidance

By Albany Update | Apr 28, 2020

During the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has temporarily banned in-person gatherings. Most churches in New York have voluntarily complied with this temporary public health measure. However, many churches desire to begin meeting together again for prayer, worship, and the preaching of God’s Word. For some churches, parking lot church services may be a viable…

Chemung County Churches Challenge County Executive’s Overreach

By Albany Update | Apr 23, 2020

All across the United States, the coronavirus epidemic has forced government leaders to grapple with difficult challenges. One central challenge facing those leaders is the challenge of protecting public health while also respecting personal freedom. If, during an epidemic, government is overly lenient in regard to gatherings and social distancing, lives may be lost that…

DOJ Warns Government Against Infringing Upon Religious Freedom

By Albany Update | Apr 17, 2020

On April 14, 2020, U.S. Attorney General William Barr issued a statement emphasizing the need to respect religious liberty in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic. In his statement, the Attorney General noted that both the Constitution and federal law ban discrimination on the basis of religion. He said: …Even in times of emergency, when…

Ministry Wants Drive-Ins Open For More Than Movies

By Albany Update | Apr 17, 2020

At an April 12, 2020 briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) was reviewing the possibility of letting drive-in movie theaters open during the coronavirus epidemic. Such a move would involve making an exception to the regulation requiring the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state. According to 13WHAM.com,…

Samaritan’s Purse Despite Service, Still Vilified

By Albany Update | Apr 17, 2020

While the COVID-19 epidemic continues to wreak havoc in the State of New York and across the nation, Samaritan’s Purse continues to serve the Lord by providing needed medical care to coronavirus patients in New York City. As Albany Update has previously reported, Samaritan’s Purse—a Christian disaster relief charity—has opened a 68-bed tent hospital in…

Honoring God and Government During a Pandemic

By Albany Update | Apr 16, 2020

May 20, 2020 UPDATE: Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Forward plan, the Governor intends to lift COVID-19-related restrictions on business and other activities through a four-phase, region-by-region process. On May 19, 2020, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms joined pastors across the State of New York in calling upon Gov. Cuomo to (a) lift restrictions on worship services in regions…

CARES Act Information for Churches And Other Non-Profit Organizations

By Albany Update | Apr 13, 2020

The recently-passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act makes available $2 trillion in relief funds to individuals and employers affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Some of the benefits that are available under the CARES Act are available to churches and other non-profit organiztions. According to COVIDChurchAid.org, a project of the Florida Family Policy…

Cuomo Guidance Places Excessive Burden Upon Religious Expression

By Albany Update | Apr 11, 2020

May 20, 2020 UPDATE: Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Forward plan, the Governor intends to lift COVID-19-related restrictions on business and other activities through a four-phase, region-by-region process. On May 19, 2020, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms joined pastors across the State of New York in calling upon Gov. Cuomo to (a) lift restrictions on worship services in…

Mayor Encouraged To Reconsider Religious-Liberty-Infringing Remarks

By Albany Update | Apr 6, 2020

On March 31, 2020, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms wrote to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to ask that he reconsider some unwise remarks he made about churches and other faith communities. On March 27, the Mayor warned religious institutions that persistently fail to comply with coronavirus-related limits on public gatherings that their…