Jail Time & a $1,000 a Day Fine for Worship

Aug 10, 2020

Yet another California pastor, along with all the church members and future attendees, could face jail time and a $1,000 per day fine for merely attending church. This is also happening to another pastor I know well while we are challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom's orders that ban ALL worship, even in private homes.

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California officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are threatening to shut off utilities to churches and households that have worship.

This week, our case against Gov. Newsom’s outrageous orders will be heard in court. Liberty Counsel is defending Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which has 162 affiliated churches in California.

But last Friday, California officials came up with a new tactic to deal with Christians who want to worship rather than sacrifice their freedom on Gov. Newsom’s COVID altar...

Ventura County, CA, voted 3-2 along party lines to file suit against Calvary Chapel Godspeak, its pastor and 1,000 "John Does" (aka church members or future attendees) who want to worship. The lawsuit demands a Temporary Restraining Order against Calvary Chapel Pastor Rob McCoy and all who attend, or who will attend, services.

In other words, every person who attempts to worship would be a defendant and could be held in contempt for having any worship in the future... until Gov. Newsom gives his permission! Violators could go to jail and pay fines.

Yet, the same orders that ban ALL worship allow the same church with the same people to feed, shelter, and provide "social services" to the community. They can meet for non-religious purposes, but not for worship.

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And last week a California prayer ministry received a closure letter demanding they immediately cease and desist or face jail and fines.

This ministry had just five people in a 7,000 square foot building – that's an average of 2,500 square feet of "social distancing" per person. The city has arbitrarily determined that not even those massively social-distanced five people can meet for prayer.

Yet, California politicians continue to recognize and applaud the Marxist revolutionaries that clog California streets shoulder-to-shoulder and   terrorize cities and neighborhoods -- all with no "safety" requirements, cease and desist orders or fines.

Regarding our case defending Harvest, in his response to our court filing, Gov. Newsom argued that churches are not "essential." Regarding feeding, counseling and housing people in the same building where worship services occur, Newsom argues that only the worship services should be prohibited while the other non-religious services are allowed.

Concerning home Bible studies, Newsom argues that he has authority to prohibit home fellowship groups. As to protests, Newsom admits he encourages them and supports their violation of his orders, but he would like them to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Nothing new under the sun...

This is not the first time anti-God officials have tried to silence God’s people and ban the practice of His religion. Biblical King Darius’ henchmen instituted a ban on worship and prayer as well, many thousands of years ago.

But faithful Daniel chose to obey God, rather than the King’s edicts, and God rewarded him for it – binding the lions’ mouths and letting Daniel live in peace and prosperity the rest of his days.

As you know, Liberty Counsel has filed five federal lawsuits against the governors of Maine, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and California. In each of these states, governors and local officials have closed churches, squashed religious freedom and criminalized worship, practices and beliefs.

Liberty Counsel is working to bring one of these cases to the Supreme Court so that we can set the precedent once and for all – that no governor will be able to ignore the fact that religious freedom is FREE in the United States of America!

But we can’t do this without you. As you know, we never charge for our legal services. Instead, we rely on God’s provision through YOU, the faithful Liberty Counsel donor. WITHOUT YOU, NONE OF OUR WORK IS POSSIBLE.

YOU are a hero to these pastors and Christians under attack by anti-God governors. So today, I am asking you to give a bit more. A generous supporter has established a challenge grant that will effectively DOUBLE your gift to Liberty Counsel’s legal fund. This blessing could not come at a better time, but because this is a challenge grant, the additional funds will only be available for a limited time.

Don't forget! Donate TODAY and have YOUR GIFT DOUBLED IN IMPACT by the Church Challenge Grant!

Finally, my friend, let us live like Daniel in these times of persecution. Let us hold fast to prayer, worship and the Word of God... and never give up. Obedience to the Lord is a blessing in and of itself!

"Then King Darius wrote to the people of every nation and language throughout the land: ‘May your prosperity abound. I hereby decree that in every part of my kingdom, men are to tremble in fear before the God of Daniel: For He is the living God, and He endures forever; His kingdom will never be destroyed, and His dominion will never end. He delivers and rescues; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.’" Daniel 6:25-27

In Christ,

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman

P.S. Tired of the shutdowns and unconstitutional restrictions on our liberty? Take a moment to tell all 50 governors to RESTORE OUR RIGHTS & RE-OPEN AMERICA! Select here.

P.P.S. Please don't let this challenge grant opportunity pass you by. America's pastors and churches are relying on YOU, a faithful Liberty Counsel supporter, to help ensure religious freedom remains FREE! Select here or the graphic below.