Thursday, March 04, 2021

State House passes bill prohibiting forced closure of churches, places of worship


House Passes Bill Prohibiting Forced Closure of Places of Worship

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation to protect religious freedom and the constitutional right to worship.

Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang, presented House Bill 2648, also known as the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, which dictates that anything closing places of worship would be considered a substantial burden on people’s freedom of religion.

“People came to this continent seeking religious freedom and to escape a tyrannical government, and our country’s founders had the wisdom to specifically outline the freedom to worship in one of our founding documents,” Hill said. “My faith, like many Oklahomans, is at the core of who I am, and this bill further protects our God-given right to worship.”

House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, is a co-author of the bill. 

"This country was founded by individuals seeking freedom to worship in the manner they so choose without persecution," Echols said. "I can think of nothing more patriotic than protecting those rights for future generations."

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

HB2648 passed the House 80-18 and is now available to be considered by the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant.

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