As he promised, Idaho rancher Ammon Bundy – who once led an armed occupation of federal land in Oregon – organized an Easter Sunday church service in violation of a statewide order on mass gatherings.
A livestream of the service showed dozens of people in folding chairs sitting together in Bundy’s industrial warehouse in the small city of Emmett, about 30 miles northwest of Boise, where a handmade sign reading "Defy Martial Law" was placed in front of the speaker’s podium.
After the group watched a precorded praise video, Bundy briefly addressed the group, saying, "When you believe in Christ ... you will never infringe upon your neighbor's rights."
There were no signs on the livestream of anyone attempting to challenge or interrupt the service. Wayne Hoffman with the conservative Idaho Freedom Foundation – a group that has called the ban on gatherings unconstitutional – also was invited to speak.
We certainly don't have to continue to live in a world where a church service is considered a big church service in America," Hoffman said. "That's not who we are. Americans don't in fear. They don't give up their rights."
Bundy did not officially announce the venue for the service until just hours before it started. He told CNN last week he wasn’t concerned about getting coronavirus.
"I'm healthy, my family is healthy. I'd rather have it now so my body is immune to it," Bundy said.