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Former Redwood Falls resident leading church challenge to governor’s mask mandate

Attorney Erick Kaardal is representing three churches challenging Governor Walz’s mandates limiting church services and attendance.

A former Redwood Falls resident, attorney Erick Kaardal, is leading a church challenge to Governor Walz’s mask mandate. Three Minnesota churches — Cornerstone in Alexandria, Land of Promise in Buffalo and Lifespring in Crosby — are asking a court to declare the governor’s mandate unconstitutional, and cancel church attendance limits and social distancing requirements.

The lawsuit contends wearing a mask makes those activities and receiving communion at church more difficult and, at times, impossible.

Churches in California and Minnesota are challenging state pandemic restrictions in court, contending that they are violations of religious liberty. They’re the latest in a series of lawsuits, many in California, arguing that houses of worship should be exempt from certain limits on public gatherings.

Kaardal, currently based in the Minneapolis, stated, “time-honored rites and rituals, including prayers, singing, communion, and a laying of hands in blessing, are among those elements that comprise the free exercise of religion.”

Attorney General Keith Ellison says he stands behind the legality and constitutionality of the governor’s order and “will defend it strongly in court just as we have so far successfully defended others in court.”

(This article includes information from Learfield News Service and the Associated Press.)

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