Prison for Pastors and Parishioners

Aug 20, 2020

The pastors I discuss below have put everything on the line for Christ. Each one has been criminally charged or faces criminal charges. In two cases, the parishioners also face criminal charges. They face massive fines and prison, all for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ or, in the case of church members, merely assembling to worship. And this is right here in America! Read on to learn more. -Mat

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Will police come to arrest me today?

Will they handcuff me like a common criminal in front of my family?

Will my church be closed?

Will my staff be arrested?

Will my parishioners be arrested?

Who will care for my flock if my church is closed and I am in jail?

Who will care for my family?

When I leave home for church, will I return or be booked with a mug shot?

Believe me, what I wrote above is no exaggeration. This is what some of our pastors face every day, right here in the U.S.A.

Every day, Liberty Counsel’s client pastors are being forced to consider these harrowing questions. Yet, serious as the prospect of a year in jail may seem, these pastors have the resolve of people like Daniel, the three Hebrews and the Apostle Paul.

CA - Pastor Ché Ahn, of Harvest Rock Church, the staff and every single churchgoer face criminal charges of 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines per day. The Pasadena City Prosecutor this week threatened daily criminal charges against everyone who assembles at the church for religious meetings! Meanwhile, the mayor of Los Angeles where one of the affiliate churches is located, has threatened to cut off all power and water to the church.

KY - Dr. Jack Roberts, of Maryville Baptist Church – along with every attendee of the church’s drive-in Easter service - were issued the equivalent of a 14-day house arrest for attending church, along with threats of criminal charges.

ME - Pastor Ken Graves of Calvary Chapel of Bangor faced criminal charges, 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines per violation of Gov. Janet Mills’ COVID shutdown orders.

VA - Pastor Kevin Wilson of Lighthouse Fellowship Church was criminally charged and threatened with 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine for having just 16 people at a Palm Sunday Service in his 293-seat church. Every church member was also threatened with criminal charges if they met with more than 10 people.

IL - Pastor Cristian Ionescu of Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church of Chicago, IL, has been criminally charged with “Disorderly Conduct” for having more than 10 people assembled for worship, including up to 30-days in jail, fines, AND threats from the city to seize and destroy church buildings.

IL- Pastor Daniel Chiu of Logos Baptist Ministries was criminally charged and faced 30 days in jail and fines for having more than 10 people assembled for worship.

FL – Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne of The River Church at Tampa Bay, was arrested, transported to the police station, booked, and issued two criminal charges with each charge up to 6-months in jail and a $2,500 fine for assembling to worship.

These pastors are willing to risk EVERYTHING for the gospel – their lives, their livelihoods and their sacred honor – putting all on the line for Jesus and the flock. When this season of unjust trials is done, my most fervent prayer is that we can all say the same.

I pray for these pastors daily. I think about them when I close my eyes at night and when I wake in the morning.

Help Liberty Counsel fight for these pastors, churches and people of faith. Remember, in California, Gov. Newsom not only considers it to be criminal to meet in church, but his unconstitutional order also criminalizes Bible studies and fellowship in private homes.

Our legal team is working long hours and weekends to defend these faithful shepherds. Right now, Liberty Counsel has lawsuits in federal courts defending pastors in Maine, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and California. And we are advising pastors of over 2,000 other churches in 44 states.

We covet your prayers and support. A generous supporter has established a challenge grant to help us meet the massive legal expenses necessary to fight attacks on religious freedom. Every donation today will be DOUBLED in effectiveness!

REMINDER - All donations today will be doubled in impact by the extended challenge grant! - Select here to take advantage of this blessing TODAY!

Please, be in prayer for these brave pastors, the churches’ staff, members and attendees. Be in prayer too for the soul of our country, that it may return to the service of our Lord. And pray for all of us at Liberty Counsel, that we may always be able to claim 2 Timothy 4:7... “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

In Christ,

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman

P.S. Tyrannical governors are also using the COVID “crisis” to demand an end to religious exemptions and force mandatory vaccinations. We must raise our voices NOW. Please take a moment to fax Congress and tell them NO MANDATORY VACCINATIONS!!! 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.