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Three churchgoers arrested for failing to wear masks at Idaho protest


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Three churchgoers arrested for failing to wear masks at Idaho protest 1

Three people were arrested at an anti-mask protest in Idaho where churchgoers gathered to belt out religious songs in a city hall parking lot.

The parishioners from Christ Church in Moscow — including a conservative candidate for a local county commission — were hauled away in handcuffs Wednesday for allegedly obstructing police officers while protesting an extension of the city’s mask order, according to FOX News.

Gabriel Rench, who is running for a seat on the Latah County Commission, was furious — calling his arrest “tyrannical,” according to the station.

“It’s unbelievable,” he told FOX’s Laura Ingraham. “We just started singing the songs and they come up to me and my mom first, and then the guy standing next to me was my friend and I put my arm around him … and that’s why they proceeded to arrest me.”

Five others were hit with citations for defying the mask mandate, which was this week extended through Jan. 5 in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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Rench called the crackdown a political move on the part of the city.

“I think [officials] wanted to make an issue out of it,” he told KBTV.

“They wanted to flex their muscles because we had already done psalm sings in the past and they wanted to make an example of us. We weren’t warned — no warnings, no nothing, and so we were just taking our constitutional liberties to do what we’re allowed to do under the Constitution — worship.”

He didn’t address studies showing that mask-less singing sends respiratory droplets into the air, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

The extended mask mandate angered many other members of the church who called the order “largely baseless” when it was passed earlier this week.

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