Church Update: California Court Sets Emergency Briefing

(Unsplash/Tingey Injury Law Firm)

On Friday afternoon, Sept. 11, Liberty Counsel filed an emergency request with the federal Court of Appeals. Within 45 minutes, the court ordered the state to respond by today at 5:00 p.m. (PDT). We represent Pastor Ché Ahn and Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, along with 162 California church affiliates of Harvest International Ministry, which has over 65,000 churches worldwide.

Ahn's great-grandmother became a Christian during the 1907 revival in Pyongyang, North Korea. During the Korean War in 1950-53, his family immigrated from North to South Korea, and Ahn then immigrated to America. In 1973, God rescued young Ahn again, this time from the drug-laden culture of California. As only He can, God raised this humble preacher up to minister to not only the broken of his region and country, but in all the world.

Sixty-five thousand-plus churches are a tempting target, and Satan has taken aim to shut down this powerful movement for God.

As you know from my letters and emails, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has shut down all worship in most of the state, even banning Bible studies and fellowship in private homes with anyone who does not live at that home.

In Pasadena, Ahn, Harvest Rock Church and every parishioner face daily criminal charges up to one year in prison and fines every time they worship.

In San Francisco, the city threatened "Abatement"—which is immediate seizure and destruction of Lighthouse Church's worship and sanctuary buildings should that church continue to meet. San Francisco allows only 12 people to assemble outside in the sweltering heat and smoke-filled air. But "protesters" and rioters can gather in the thousands.

In Santa Clara, North Valley Baptist Church is being fined $50,000 per week for refusing to stop worshipping together.

In Sun Valley, Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur will likely face contempt of court and jail time for defying a judge's injunction demanding he stop "assembling together," as the Bible commands.

In Los Angeles, the city has threatened to shut off all power and water to churches, including the affiliate churches we represent.

These are just a few examples of the oppression being wrought upon the men and women of God at the hands of the godless leaders of California.

We live in America, the second country in the history of the world to be founded on the Word of God—the land of the free—where the right to worship God without government intervention is constitutionally guaranteed. No wonder Satan seeks to destroy our churches and our country!

The strongest line of attack against America is to silence the Word of God—and that's what Satan is trying to do through lawless governors and godless bureaucrats shuttering our churches.

The Pattern Here Is Too Obvious to Ignore:

—Black Lives Matter's founders (declared Marxists) and the Los Angeles leader of Black Lives Matter say their practice of conjuring the dead is central to the organization.

—Antifa has revealed it is a Marxist organization seeking the death of all religious beliefs.

—Governors and bureaucrats have praised these protesters and rioters while placing their heavy hand on churches and houses of worship.

I cannot state this plainly enough: We are—right now—in one of the most epic battles for religious liberty in many generations.

Our Case Is on a Fast Track

The Court of Appeals is fast-tracking our case against Gov. Newsom, ordering the state to respond by 5:00 pm (PDT) today. We are preparing our reply to the court by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.

The panel of judges at the Appeals Court who will hear our case has not yet been released. Please pray that we will have a good panel.

There Is Plenty of Reason for Hope

This past weekend, another California pastor who is under fire stood in the gap, and souls are being saved. Abortion survivor turned pastor Jack Hibb and his team baptized 1,000 people in the Pacific Ocean. You cannot stop the Holy Spirit! Light will overcome darkness.

There is revival taking place in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and elsewhere in the United States. People are being baptized in public meetings despite these restrictions.

Pray and Be Encouraged

Pray for these pastors who face jail and fines. Pray for revival. Pray for Liberty Counsel's staff and attorneys as we fight to keep these brave men and women free to preach God's Word. And pray specifically for our case at the Court of Appeals on behalf of California churches.

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