Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, told the “Todd Starnes Show” on Tuesday that he filed a lawsuit on behalf of California churches after Gov. Gavin Newsom took new steps in banning religious worship of all kinds throughout the state amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The clampdown on church services in the state has been widely documented from the early days of the outbreak when it was determined that they were not as essential as liquor stores.
Staver said worship restrictions have gained pace in recent weeks. He pointed out that a few weeks ago, Newsom banned all singing and chanting in both in-person church services or even at home throughout the entire state. He said that the Democrat went even further about a week ago when he identified 30 plus counties on the state’s so-called “County Monitoring List” and banned any in-person service and in-home Bible studies.
“So you cannot have your neighbor over or a friend over, nor can you go to a friend’s house to have a Bible study or have any home fellowship.”
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Staver said a lawsuit was filed early Saturday on behalf of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministries, which oversees 162 churches or affiliate organizations in California. Staver said the lawsuit was filed for good reason and called it the most “outrageous restriction” that he has seen amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“To think that the government has the authority to ban in-home Bible studies and fellowship and ban worship across the state is absolutely incredible,” Staver said.
Pastor Ché Ahn, the pastor at the church located in Pasadena, Calif., told Todd Starnes, the host of the radio show, that he wanted to maintain a good relationship with the city leaders so he sent them a letter stating that the church would remain open during the lockdown.
CBS Los Angeles reported that the pastor told his congregation on Sunday to pray that the church emerges victorious in the court battle and said he believed that the church has been “essential for 2,000 years.”
Staver said it is almost difficult to keep up with the number of lawsuits that need to be filed over the state’s infringement on religion. He said the court has ordered Sacramento to respond to the suit by early next month.
Starnes said Newsom basically declared “war on Christians.”