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After arrests at first event, Moscow church gathers in town square on Wednesday

Christ Church's third "Psalm Sing" event is set to begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Organizers said on Facebook that they anticipate the "possibility of protesters."
Credit: Daniel Foucachon
Gabriel Rench arrest at Christ Church event in Moscow

MOSCOW, Idaho — After five citations and several arrests at a Moscow church's event in September, the group gathered again in the town's Friendship Square on Wednesday evening. 

Christ Church's third "Psalm Sing" event is began at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Five attendees of an event previously hosted by the church on Sept. 23 were cited for their refusal to comply with COVID-19 orders, according to the City of Moscow. Two of those individuals were also cited for resisting and obstructing officers and three were arrested and released from custody the same day.  

One of the people arrested was Latah County commissioner candidate Gabriel Rench, who called the event a "worship protest."

The church held another event on Sept. 25. At both of the gatherings, most of the 50 to 250 attendees did not practice social distancing or wear face coverings as required by a public health order in Moscow, the city said.

RELATED: Moscow church plans another event Friday after arrests, citations at 'worship protest'

The City of Moscow released a statement on Wednesday ahead of the church's third event. 

"Previous experience has shown this group has not and will not follow the City's Public Health Emergency Order," the statement reads in part. "Given the significant increase in daily confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area, concerns for public and officer safety, and the desire to prevent increased opportunities for community spread, it is strongly recommended that the public stay clear of the area until the end of the advertised gathering."

Moscow Police officers will monitor the gathering from a distance "and exercise their discretion in enforcement," the city said. 

Latah County has seen significant increases in COVID-19 cases, according to the city, with 96 new cases reported from Oct. 2-6.

RELATED: COVID-19 'hot spots' on University of Idaho's Greek Row lead to quarantine of 8 chapters


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