|Today, I will update you on some of our ongoing church cases and offer a word of hope and encouragement. The media often presents a bleak outlook for America, but there is hope — and much to be thankful about! Please read on. – Mat
Liberty Counsel represents pastors and churches in five separate federal lawsuits against the governors of California, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia and Maine. Earlier, we concluded a case in Florida, where our client was the first pastor in America to be arrested, handcuffed, booked and put in a cell until he posted bond – all for holding a worship service for which the county sheriff assured him he would not be arrested.
In each ongoing case, the churches, pastors, and congregants face heavy fines and prison simply for opening and/or attending church. These pastors go to bed every night wondering whether tomorrow they will be dragged off to jail… for serving the Lord.
California: Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry v. CA Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has banned ALL WORSHIP, even home Bible studies and fellowship! Pastors and churchgoers alike face lengthy jail time and compounding fines. The Pasadena prosecutor has threated to criminally charge each person who attends worship, the penalty of which is one year in prison. This case is currently on appeal.
Illinois: Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries v. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his illegal orders enforced by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s threats to seize and destroy church buildings and properties for refusing to obey Pritzker’s illegal orders. The orders limit worship to 10 people, no matter the size of the sanctuary. The pastors were criminally charged, and the mayor threatened to bulldoze the buildings. We will soon file our petition with the U.S. Supreme Court for final review of the case.
Kentucky: Maryville Baptist Church of Hillview v. Gov. Andy Beshear, who gave every attendee of an Easter Sunday outdoor, stay-in-your-own-car service, the equivalent of 14-day house arrest. We received two 3-0 victories at the court of appeals, but the governor wants to reimpose the restrictions, so the case continues. Last night we filed our final brief and will soon argue the case on appeal.
Virginia: Lighthouse Fellowship of Chincoteague Island v. Gov. Ralph Northam and his illegal attempts to shut down churches, even sending police cars to man the church parking lot waiting to arrest or scare away potential attendees. The pastor was criminally charged for having 16 people in a 293-seat sanctuary. We just got the criminal charge dismissed. We will soon file our final brief and then argue the case at the court of appeals later this fall.
Maine: Calvary Chapel of Bangor v. Gov. Janet Mills, who demands that churches apply for HER permission to open, and only under HER extremely restrictive conditions with HER “Governor Approved Church” badge on the door. In less than two weeks, we will argue this case on appeal.
Each of the governors of these five states share these characteristics:
They are Democrats, encourage lawless riots, are extreme abortion and Planned Parenthood advocates and have no respect for religious freedom. Those willing to murder the unborn should never be trusted to govern the living.
In each of these cases, Liberty Counsel is defending faithful Christians who want to assemble to gather for worship, as the Bible commands. Caesar has no authority over the church!
But we are not just filing federal lawsuits to defend individual churches. The work we are doing to defend America’s faithful touches nearly every state in the nation, both in and out of court. Since the unconstitutional church shutdowns began, Liberty Counsel has been advising over 2,000 pastors in 44 states across the nation.
When cities such as Kansas City, MO, tried to demand churches deny entry to anyone who refused to give their names and contact information so city officials could contact them, Liberty Counsel intervened… and the mayor reversed course.
When a Florida County arrested a pastor for holding church, we intervened and two days later the governor declared attendance at churches and places of worship to be “essential.” Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne of The River at Tampa Bay Church was the first pastor in the nation arrested for opening his church. Liberty Counsel was able to get all charges against Pastor Howard-Browne dropped. We are now working on getting his record fully expunged.
And we continue to represent and defend Planned Parenthood whistleblower Sandra Merritt, the right to fly a Christian flag, the right to display a nativity scene, the right to choose a Christian counselor, and so much more. Each of our cases is, at its base, a defense of our God-given, unalienable rights.
No American pastor or parishioner living in accordance with their faith should be forced to make a choice between worship or prison.
That’s why Liberty Counsel never charges for our legal work. Few people could afford a legal defense against the bottomless, taxpayer-funded coffers of lawless politicians. Instead, we – and the clients we defend – rely on God’s gracious provision through generous supporters like you!
Right now, God’s provision has been magnified through a generous challenge grant that will effectively DOUBLE the impact of every donation made today. Please, if the Lord has put a call on your heart to support the legal defense of pastors, churches and America’s religious freedom, I ask you to answer it today.
Select here to Defend America’s Churches.
Finally, please continue to pray for each of these churches and pastors, Liberty Counsel’s staff and those in authority in our nation. God bless you!
Founder and Chairman
|P.S. As I mentioned above, a generous supporter has established a CHALLENGE GRANT which will effectively DOUBLE the impact of your donation today. Please don’t let this opportunity to DOUBLE your effective support 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.
P.P.S. Simone Gold of America’s Frontline Doctors – the group widely censored about effective treatment for COVID – will host an EXCLUSIVE online townhall meeting just for Liberty Counsel supporters. Join us online Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 3pm ET. Space is limited for this FREE event, so select HERE to register right away!
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