Petition filed calling for pastor to face justice over hosting 1,800 during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

CENTRAL, La. (NBC Local 33/Fox 44) – A petition is circulating online calling for a Central pastor to be prosecuted over holding large church services despite guidelines by state leaders to avoid large crowds for preventative measures against COVID-19.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The petition is asking Governor John Bel Edwards to have Tony Spell of the Life Tabernacle Church arrested and charged with reckless endangerment.

Spell has been holding church services with his congregation of hundreds, even thousands, despite requests of social distancing and orders to avoid large crowds of 50 or more.

Spell himself believes the coronavirus pandemic is “politically motivated.”

He even recently said if one of his parishioners were to contract COVID-19, he would “heal” them by laying hands on them.

Governor Edwards said in a news conference earlier this week, religious leaders should hold off on hosting large services, “I would urge that faith leaders and all faith leaders to heed this directive and not necessarily engage in mass gatherings where this coronavirus can spread.”

The petition is addressed to the governor along with East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore.

To see the petition, click click here.

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