PEORIA Ill -- Dozens came together in defense of their religious freedom that they say is being violated by new mandates under President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Religious freedom is under fire in America, according to dozens of protestors who came together on Peoria's Riverfront Saturday.
This is due to a mandate under President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act.
It requires all employer health plans to provide free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of any moral or religious objections.
"To actually make schools founded to preach christ to provide insurance covering abortions is just, we'll close down first or we'll stand a civil disobedience," said Peoria Bishop, Daniel Jenky.
Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky says he will not obey the mandate, as it contradicts catholic practices.
A new step in a stance he broadcasted months ago, when he compared the policies of President Obama to those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
At Saturday's rally, Congressmen Aaron Schock and Bobby Schilling continued to back Jenky, laying out the flaws in the healthcare plan.
"Bad laws happen when you have bad legislation. And you have bad lawmakers. And four years ago, we had people vote on bills before they read them, passed laws before we knew what they meant, and now we are starting to find out what the health care law means and we are starting to find out it's not very good," said 18th District Congressman Aaron Schock.
Organizations are now rallying behind the Bishop, promising to back him in his fight against the federal government.
"The older men are going to pray for him the younger men are going to be standing around him and if he gets arrested we will all get arrested first. That's what we all vowed. That's what the sign is all about. We all put our name on the sign and we're gonna be there for our Bishop," said protester, Bill Migliorini.
54 people signed a billboard saying they will support the Bishop with his decisions regarding the mandate.
Schock and Schilling say the fight to repeal the mandates will reach a pivotal point when voters head to the polls, on November 6th.