On June 24, the Navy issued an order that banned troops from attending indoor religious services, although other activities such as using mass transit, hosting social gatherings of any size, and participation in protests are all permitted. The Navy’s orders apply to everyone assigned to Navy units and vessels including, ironically, its chaplains. Sailors returning from duty are not permitted to leave their ship until they agree to abide by official U.S. Navy orders preventing them from attending “indoor religious services.”

“In open defiance of the Commander in Chief, who recently declared churches as essential to America, the U.S. Navy has threatened to court-martial service members if they go to church,” said Mike Berry, First Liberty Institute General Counsel. “It is absolutely outrageous that our troops can’t go to church, but they can attend a protest or host house parties of any size.”


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