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California Church Faces $2.8 Million in COVID Fines

A California congregation is faced with a “David and Goliath scenario” after its county punished them with $2.8 million in COVID fines.

Despite a Supreme Court ruling, Santa Clara County is still targeting Calvary Chapel with massive penalties for holding services in 2020, CBN News reports.

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Pastor Mike McClure and his San Jose church filed a federal lawsuit in Oct. 2020 against the state and county for unconstitutional orders, but Santa Clara County sued in retaliation for $2.8 million, claiming the church was a public health hazard and a nuisance for holding services in violation of COVID orders.

In Dec. 2020, the church was found in contempt at a court hearing for holding indoor services and given more fines totaling $55,000, according to KNTV.

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“I respect the judge and I respect what the law says,” McClure said at the time. “But there’s a bigger law. I have to get told, you follow God or you follow man. I have to follow what God’s word says.”

Mariah Gondeiro, one of the church’s attorneys with Tyler & Bursch, told CBN the case is now in the discovery phase.

“This is truly a David and Goliath scenario. The county and state may have unlimited resources, but we have God on our side. I cannot fathom him being too pleased with how the state and county have treated his children,” she said. 

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