Good News in the Midst of the Mess

Jan 22, 2021

I am writing on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, the anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade ruling, with good news on the advance of religious liberty in America. The tide is beginning to turn! A Court of Appeals declared a major change regarding houses of worship and the right to hold church meetings. The dominoes are beginning to fall. We will win this fight, but we continue to have major pockets of resistance. Read on to learn what’s next in the fight for religious freedom. -Mat

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On January 4, I argued a second time at the Court of Appeals in our case representing Pastor Ché Ahn and our California church clients. Although the lower court judge did not follow the Supreme Court’s roadmap, I strongly believe we will win this battle – even if we must return to the High Court.

In California, it is ILLEGAL for 99.9% of Californians to worship in person or even have Bible studies in their own homes with anyone who does not live there.

Our clients, Pastor Ahn, Harvest Rock Church, and Harvest International Ministry, which includes over 100 California churches, face daily criminal charges, prison and thousands of dollars in accumulating fines each day their churches are open. The Pasadena Criminal Prosecutor has written a letter that threatens criminal charges against any parishioner who worships.

A whirlwind of legal change happened in just a few short days...

On Thanksgiving Eve, the Supreme Court issued a resounding ruling in favor of NY churches and synagogues. One Justice wrote in no uncertain terms, “But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”

On December 3, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Harvest Rock Church and all our California-based church clients. The Court ordered the lower court to follow the clear First Amendment roadmap, which leads to only one destination – the CA worship restrictions violate the First Amendment.

But CA Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t want to obey the Constitution or the Supreme Court and continues to resist.

Gov. Newsom’s Attorney General continues to argue that churches should be closed while abortion clinics, liquor stores and hundreds of non-religious activities are fine. But this is a CLEAR indication that the battle to free America’s religious faithful from the cages of their First Amendment abusers is far from over.

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Gov. Newsom may not know it yet, but he will learn that the seismic shift at the Supreme Court includes the Golden State.

Despite Gov. Newsom’s refusal to obey the Supreme Court, the Harvest Rock Church case is already freeing churches around the country!

  • On December 7, CO Gov. Jared Polis lifted all restrictions against CO houses of worshipincluding our clients Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College. Gov. Polis did so because of the Supreme Court opinions, including our Harvest Rock Church case.
  • On December 15, the High Court granted relief to churches in New Jersey, California, and Colorado.
  • On December 15, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a 3-0 opinion ruled in favor of NV churches -- noting that the Supreme Court cases represent a “seismic shift” that compelled their result.
  • A ruling on our CA churches is due any day. That is good news for pastors. Just yesterday, I was speaking to counsel who is representing yet another California pastor persecuted for holding church. They were heading into a hearing where the court is expected to remand the pastor to jail...for holding church.
  • And our case representing the Romanian immigrant churches of Illinois is the first church case at the Supreme Court ready for a full review at the High Court. We will receive word in February.

The fight for religious freedom is far from finished.

The Supreme Court’s NY ruling did not end the battle because of the nature of their preliminary status. We must continue to fight in many of the states in which we are already representing pastors, churches and parishioners. But now, we have the arsenal to win this battle.

We are seeing an increase in urgent calls from pastors and churches facing existing or new lockdowns. They need our help.

At the same time, we are also involved in defending the sanctity of human life. One of our clients is Sandra Merritt, the pro-life hero who blew the whistle on Planned Parenthood’s despicable practice of harvesting baby body parts – while some victims were still alive.

We will not rest until the horrible 1973 Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade is overturned and the womb becomes a safe place once again. On this National Sanctity of Human Life Day, please join Liberty Counsel in a special prayer for success in Sandra’s defense and for the end of the curse of abortion in our nation.

Yes, the gates of hell are beginning to crumble, but we need your ongoing help to continue the battle. 2020 was the most extensive litigation year in Liberty Counsel’s 31-year history and 2021 looks to be even more challenging. With so many critical battles, our resources are stretched as never before.

Thankfully, our extended Challenge Grant has been established to DOUBLE THE IMPACT of your gifts. Every gift will be effectively doubled. Please, select here to give as generously as you can. Our freedom truly hangs in the balance!

Freeing our churches is the first step to restoring liberty – not just for churches and the believers they serve, but liberty for the entire country! Thank you for standing with us in this fight!

Mat Staver
Founder & Chairman

P.S. As I mentioned above, our extended Challenge Grant will effectively DOUBLE the impact of your donation today!