(The long list of links at the bottom of this article will be updated periodically as new information comes to light)
Back in November 2016 I wrote an article entitle, “America’s Present Path and the Road Less Traveled,” (https://holylight4u.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/americas-present-path-and-the-road-less-traveled/) wherein I explained the three choices set before us on Election Day: Bloody Mary, the Emperor Constantine, and the Road Less Traveled as seen in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. The choice that was made was not the road less traveled. Rather, it was the road we are on now, the road wherein we trusted in a so-called patriotic, so-called Christian president. Many still believe him to be Cyrus, and even Orthodox Jews laud him as a savior and have created Temple coins in his honor. He says many great things and makes patriotic Americans feel like he cares, when in reality—yes, let’s be honest about this—he does nothing to back up what he says. Just think about it…
But, I am not a political author (though I do have a degree in History), and this article is not about a particular person nor is it is about the upcoming elections. It is, however, all about where my previous article “America’s Present Path and Road Less Traveled” said we’d end up, which is namely, right where we are: smack dab in the middle of subtle persecution.
Before continuing, let’s remember that time and again, Jesus warned us to NOT BE DECEIVED – in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, the book of Revelation, and the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2, Ephesians 5, and other like Jude, and 1, 2, and 3 John to name a few. So, if Jesus warned us about the overwhelming nature and possibility of deception in the Last Days, why are we so trusting?
Elusively and suddenly, American Churches are in the middle of an odd sort of persecution, but the American Church was so busy believing the “great things” that they could not see the devil in the details nor the entrance of the enemy via the front door – yes, the front door, not the back door (“The Snake Poem,” by Oscar Brown Lyrics: http://www.songlyrics.com/oscar-brown-jr/the-snake-lyrics/; About the song: https://www.songmeaningsandfacts.com/the-snake-by-al-wilson/). Many will not even see the discrepancies and contradictions in what has been said in the media and by so-called health care professionals. And though Christians and church services are under attack, they cannot see it because of the key words being used against them such as “for the common good” and “love thy neighbor as thyself” and “obey the governing authorities.”
Strangely enough, there are three camps on this issue of Christian persecution in America.
Camp # 1:
We met as a church until… our political leaders and doctors told us that we were under the threat of COVID-19. Thus, we’re now following the mandates of our secular, non-Christian leaders, and are not attending church; we are wearing our masks; we are practicing social distancing; we are being good citizens and loving Christians by doing so. Any Christian who thinks they are undergoing persecution is actually not. Those, Christian or otherwise, who do not respect the governing authorities will be subject to punishment. Thus, we are not undergoing persecution. This too shall pass if we all work together for the common good.
We met as a church until… we were threatened with damaging vandalism and graffiti, gunshots, warned of bodily harm and possible death, legally pursued with menacing words, discouraged by snitching fellow-Christians, and scared off by threats of arrest and public scandal. Yes, there are Christians who are undergoing persecution in the U.S., and this is proof of it. Therefore, we must hide at home, pursue things legally, look to godly politicians to help, and wait for the storm to pass. We are like the Christians who hid in the catacombs of Rome; we will worship in secret; we will survive.
We met as a church until… well, some of us never stopped meeting, while some of stopped for a while but are now back. Though some of us never believed the media’s story, some of us did initially believe what was told us, but now we see through the hype and are realizing the hidden agenda behind it all. Still there are others of us who still think the media’s story is true, but that God is bigger than any disease. Regardless of various reasoning, this Church is meeting together in person, and will not be told they cannot. To them, persecution in this nation is real, burgeoning and not going away, but they are determined to suffer together and to suffer well for Jesus, for the battle belongs to the Lord, and when God is for us, who can be against us.
Whether Christians are in denial about persecution in America or not, persecution is happening to those who are practicing Biblical Christianity.
What is this “Biblical” Christianity? In order to better understand this, let’s take a look at both the Greek word for “church” and its Hebrew equivalent.
The word for “Church” in the Greek is ekklesia (Strong’s #1577). Ekklesia comes from ekkletos, meaning “called out” and is from the word ekkaleo meaning, “to call out.” Thus, the word for Church, ekklesia, means “the called people…those called out or assembled in the public affairs of a free state, the body of free citizens called together by a herald,” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, pg 541). And a herald (kerux, #2783) is a preacher, a messenger, one who proclaims, who in Classical Greek was a “public servant of supreme power…one who summoned the ekklesia, the town gathering…a kerux, messenger, was…[a] conveyor of a declaration…in 2 Peter 2:5…Noah was a herald of righteousness…” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, pg 861).
In the Old Testament there are two Hebrew words used for assemblies/gatherings: edah (Strong’s #5712) and qahal (Strong’s #6951). In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament that had been put together before Christ by 70 leading Jewish Biblical scholars, the word synagogue is equivalent to edah, and the world ekklesia is equivalent to qahal. Though occasionally used in the New Testament to refer to the Church, early on the Greek word synagogue came to be strictly associated with the Jewish gatherings. However, the Greek word ekklesia, which even Jesus used on occasion (Matthew 16:18), came to be regarded as Christian gatherings. (“Jewish Literature in New Testament Times,” https://www.bible-history.com/jewishliterature/jewish_literaturethe_septuagint.htm; “Septuagint,” https://www.septuagint.net/)
For further clarification “…both qahal and ekklesia indicate a calling or summoning to a place of meeting. Qahal and ekklesia are the more sacred terms, denoting the people in relation to Jehovah, especially in public worship” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, pg 1334). Even so, ekklesia is synonymous with episunagoge (Strong’s #1997) used in Hebrews 10:25 which means, “to gather together.”
From where are we as Christians called out? The world system that is under the rule of the evil one and his cohorts. To what are we called? We are called out by a messenger/preacher to gather in worship of our King. We are called to assemble in praise of the King and Kingdom of God that has no end. Thus, we are no longer a part of the system of this world, but have become a kingdom of priests and kings unto our God (Revelation 1:6), are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), are the body and Bride of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27; 2 Corinthians 11:2), and ambassadors of His heavenly Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20). Because of this, we live by Kingdom rules, for we are citizens of the country of heaven (Philippians 3:20). While here as ambassadors, we honor those God has placed in power here, but when anything comes into question, we stand on the side of the Kingdom that we represent.
So, what is happening today? There are Christians following ungodly leadership that is leading in ungodly ways, saying the God has placed this impious leadership over the Church. However, God never said that. God said that our head was Christ not Caesar (Ephesians 1:22), that we are to render to God the things that are God’s (Matthew 22:21), and that we are to respect the rule of law as long as it is righteous and does not conflict with His Kingdom law. And under His law, the Church is an “assembly,” a “gathering” together of those who are called out of this world’s system into the Kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13) in allegiance to and worship of their eternal King. Thus, no matter what is happening, no matter who says what, no matter when in history, those called by the name ekklesia/Church are to do what their name implies, which is to congregate together.“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
Truly, can a body be called a body when it is in pieces? Is the liver the body? Is the stomach the body? Is the tongue the body? Certainly not. One organ does not constitute the body. Rather, it is all the organs, sinews, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, blood vessels and so forth all joined together that constitutes a body. Even so, the body of Christ is not the body unless fitly joined together, gathered together to build one another up by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, assembled for worship. Therefore, can the Church be called the Church unless it gathers together? The succinct answer is NO.
Throughout the centuries of rulers commanding that Christians not gather together under pain of death, the Church gathered, from the Apostle Paul and John and Peter and the early Church, to those who secretly and illegally gathered in the catacombs under Rome, to smaller nameless sects who hid in the hills and caves during the Dark Ages, the Albigenses and Waldenses of the 12th and 13th centuries, to the Quakers, to the Anabaptists, to the Lutherans and other reformers. And in now in modern times, in China, North Korea, and any Muslim nation including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, Christians still gather for worship in defiance of godless laws on pain of imprisonment, fines, torture or even death. These did not and do not fear the very real threat of death. Why? Because they are the “Church”, the called out, assembled ones. Assembling is what they do. It is the Church’s nature to assemble.
“Pastor and apologist Alex McFarland says North Pointe [of Atlanta, Georgia] and other churches that are keeping their buildings closed need to rethink the decision.“Merely to roll over and play dead, as it were, and to say that we’re not going to meet again, that’s not New Testament Christianity,” he insists. “If you’re not meeting for corporate worship, you’re not practicing New Testament Christianity.”” (“Christian Apologist: No Time for Churches to Keep Doors Shut,” https://onenewsnow.com/church/2020/07/16/christian-apologist-no-time-for-churches-to-keep-doors-shut)
In truth and with great gravity, Pastor McFarland is absolutely correct. If the churches continue to disband, then they ought not be called the “Church” anymore, for in so doing they are in direct contradiction to the meaning of their name and the definition as stated in the Bible. The Church, the called out ones, are those who gather and assemble together, they do not disband nor dissolve for the sake of any mandate or pandemic. The Biblical Church does not change like a Chameleon to blend in with the world, but rather, stands out as the called out ones who stand together through thick and thin and without compromise or apology for the cause of Christ. Those Christians who think that American Christianity is not undergoing persecution are the ones believing the words of the media while hiding behind their masks as they do Church online in the name of obedience and the “common good”: they are not the ones on the front lines who are daring to let their lights shine, who are daring to remain the Church, who are daring to stand out in the ever growing darkness. But, persecution is here, whether a majority of scattered churches call it that or not.
2021 American Persecution Continues:
“Hawaii’s latest COVID-19 cluster tied to faith-based gatherings,” June 24, 2021, https://www.khon2.com/coronavirus/hawaiis-latest-covid-19-cluster-report-tied-to-faith-based-gatherings/?fbclid=IwAR13hbYQjOsCo0i-5BTzDJoO-Eb6JbDCG_m0Gk-yWDFVg_uuoi-pt8f-YxA
“Maine Governor’s Restrictions On Churches Are ‘Unacceptable,’ Bishop Says,” Feb 2021, https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/19/maine-church-houses-of-worship-bishop/
“Maine pastor asks for prayers ahead of monumental Supreme Court case,” May 7, 2021, https://www.standingforfreedom.com/2021/05/07/maine-pastor-calls-for-prayer-and-fasting-before-supreme-court-case-that-could-settle-covid-worship-restrictions-once-and-for-all/ Quote: “Ken Graves, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Bangor, Maine, is calling on believers to fast and pray ahead of the church’s Supreme Court case on May 13. Graves hopes that the Court will make a final ruling on the constitutionality of church restrictions during emergencies.”
2020 America’s Modern Day History of Persecution:
So, here we are today, July 20, 2020, and the a good portion of the American churches are disassembled and scattered like sheep without a shepherd. The persecution is very real, and its threat is immanent as the hand of godless leadership has been empowered from the highest levels. At the end of May 2020, in a 5-4 decision, America’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of state governors’ authority over churches during the “pandemic.” In spite of allowing places of business to be open, including restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, as well as allowing for thousands of protestors, and for abortion clinics to function without restriction, the Supreme Court sided with the governor of California (and other governors) and the California state courts against the rights of churches to freely and peaceably assemble. (“Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Limits on Church Services; Roberts Sides with Liberals,” https://www.foxnews.com/us/supreme-court-rejects-challenge-to-limits-on-church-services-roberts-sides-with-liberals; “Supreme Court Allows Restrictions on Attendance at Church Services Amid Coronavirus,” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-allows-restrictions-on-attendance-at-church-services-amid-coronavirus/; “Supreme Court Won’t Force the States to Speed Up Church Reopenings, ”https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/30/church-reopenings-supreme-court-refuses-force-governors-hands/5281999002/).
At the end of March a mega church pastor was arrested for continuing to hold services of upwards to 5,000 people, after which he and his parishioners encountered death threats and verbal abuse, which caused him to close his doors (“Florida Mega Church Pastor Arrested for Holding Services, Defying Social Distancing Orders,” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/31/coronavirus-florida-megachurch-pastor-arrested-church-amid-orders/5093160002/). In April Pastor Tony Spell was arrested and placed under house arrest while facing both misdemeanors and felony charges, but he remains undaunted with the assistance of Judge Roy Moore of Arkansas (“Roy Moore Advising Louisiana Pastor Charged for Holding Large Gatherings During Coronavirus,” https://www.foxnews.com/us/roy-moore-advising-louisiana-pastor-charged-holding-large-gatherings-coronavirus; “Louisana Pastor Defies House Arrest, Holds Service Again,” https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/04/26/breaking-news/louisiana-pastor-defies-house-arrest-holds-service-again/).
Meanwhile, Liberty Council is presently doing its best to defend the rights and Constitutional freedoms of churches in California, Kentucky, Illinois, Virginia, and Maine, as well as upwards to 25 other states unlisted.
“Over 5,000 Christians Condemn Marjorie Taylor Greene for ‘Blasphemous’ and ‘Evil’ Rhetoric,” April 2021, https://www.newsbreak.com/news/0Z6SRGLg/over-5000-christians-condemn-marjorie-taylor-greene-for-blasphemous-and-evil-rhetoric?s=oldSite&ss=a99
“LGBT Group Urges Biden to Strip Accreditation of Christian Schools with Biblical Beliefs,” November 20, 2020, https://www.christianpost.com/news/lgbt-group-urges-biden-to-force-christian-schools-to-capitulate.html?clickType=link-most-popular&fbclid=IwAR3yvcK3IkMNxxxjIkFH8De0nHxjihTL9gMob8FVfIv67UN8qycdxqfg-lk
Persecution in Colorado
“Colorado Churches Win Against COVID Orders,” Quote: “A federal district judge issued a 44-page decision granting an injunction in favor of two churches against Governor Jared Polis’ discriminatory COVID orders that place numerical restrictions on houses of worship and require masks. The order in Denver Bible Church v. Azar prevents the state of Colorado from enforcing the indoor occupancy limitations and the face-covering requirement on the churches. Pastors Bob Enyart of Denver Bible Church in Wheat Ridge and Joey Rhoads of Community Baptist Church in Brighton filed the lawsuit in August.” https://lc.org/newsroom/details/102120-colorado-churches-win-against-covid-orders-1?fbclid=IwAR1B36UYdqLNtTGonxKE1ULdYaHaCzHHljS1Z7_MZPV0arQgu5nGi-Sj7ts
Persecution in Nevada
Churches in Nevada continue to have strict restrictions, but casinos along with other businesses such as restaurants and movie theaters may permit up to 50% capacity, allowing casinos to grant access to hundreds of patrons at a time. Thus, a Calvary Chapel church took their case to the Supreme Court — and today they lost in a grievous 5-4 decision. (“Supreme Court Denies Plea from Nevada Church That It is Hurt While Casinos Reopen,” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-denies-plea-from-nevada-church-that-it-is-hurt-while-casinos-reopen/2020/07/24/9b99cbf8-cc48-11ea-91f1-28aca4d833a0_story.html)
Persecution in California:
The Governor of California has not only ordered that singing be banned from churches, but more recently, has ordered that churches be closed for indoor services indefinitely. Nevertheless, churches such as Pastor Jack Hibb’s church Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and others have stood their ground and remain open, with indoor and outdoor venues available, and many churches are suing the governor and the state of California over such unlawful edicts. Truly, as one California pastor put it, the Church “has been essential for 2000 years.”
(““We’ve Been Essential for 2,000 Years”: California Church Holds Service Indoors Despite Coronavirus Warnings,” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/harvest-rock-church-california-coronavirus-lockdown-violation-services/;
“Evangelical Churches Sue California Governor Over Ban On Singing During Services,” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/california-churches-sue-gavin-newsom_n_5f10b3d8c5b6d14c3364ffed;
“California Governor Gavin Newsom Bans Singing in Church to Combat Coronavirus, https://www.lifenews.com/2020/07/07/california-governor-gavin-newsom-bans-singing-in-church-to-combat-coronavirus/;
“California Churches Sue Governor Over Singing Ban,” https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/507667-california-churches-sue-governor-over-singing-ban;
“California Church Network Sues Governor Newsom Over Ban on Worship, Home Bible Studies,” https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-church-newsom-coronavirus-worship-ban;
“Church Sues California Gov Gavin Newsom Over Ban Against At-Home Bible Studies,” https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jul/20/gavin-newsom-sued-over-ban-against-home-bible-stud/).
California Update (08-16-20):
In California, pastor after pastor and church after church have come under fire regarding the right and liberty to freely assemble, from John MacArthur, to Jack Hibbs, to Rob McCoy, and many others. After John MacArthur was threatened with fines and imprisonment, he went on the offensive by suing the governor and other state officials. So far, he has been met with favor by the judge in the case, who has said that MacArthur’s church may continue to meet without further restriction and may sing without restriction, but “the judge is requiring congregants to wear masks and social distance between family groups while indoors.” MacArthur is abiding by this, and is pleased with the decision. Though his church deems this a win, it is not over. He must appear before the court for a “full hearing” on September 4th. “‘Historic Win’: John MacArthur Claims Victory in Lawsuit Over Church Restrictions,” https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2020/august/john-macarthur-files-lawsuit-against-gavin-newsom-california-over-church-restrictions
In the case of Rob McCoy of Ventura County, a restraining order was placed on his church and a request was put in by the city to have the sheriff shut him and his church down. In a wise move by his lawyers, his case was heard by a different judge who denied the request to shut down the church. However, McCoy must appear in court August 21st on the charges of contempt.
“Judge Denies Request for Police Action Against Church Holding Indoor Services,” https://www.christianpost.com/news/judge-denies-request-for-police-action-against-church-holding-indoor-services.html
California update (08-21-20)
“L.A. Wants John MacArthur Held in Contempt of Court, Issued Hefty Fines for Meetings,” August 20, 2020, https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/la-wants-john-macarthur-held-in-contempt-of-court-issued-hefty-fines-for-meeting.html
Pastor Rob McCoy and his church were fined $3,000 dollars for having services when told not to do so. “Judge Holds Godspeak Chapel and Pastor Rob McCoy in Contempt, Orders Fine,” August 21, 2020, https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/2020/08/21/covid-ventura-county-church-pastor-held-contempt-health-violations-indoor-worship/5609260002/?ocid=uxbndlbing
Pastor Triebur of North Valley Baptist church were also fined recently for meeting together inside their church building. “California Church Fined $10,000 for Singing, Meeting Inside; Pastor Vows to Take a Stand,” August 26, 2020, https://www.christianpost.com/news/calif-church-fined-10000-for-singing-meeting-inside-pastor-vows-to-take-a-stand.html
L.A. County attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order against Pastor John MacArthur and they attempted to hold him in contempt of court, but neither worked. https://churchleaders.com/news/381277-john-macarthur-la-county-denied-restraining-order.html; https://churchleaders.com/news/381041-update-la-superior-court-rules-grace-community-church-cannot-be-fined-for-worshiping-indoors.html
Jack Trieber of North Valley Baptist’s update
John MacArthur update regarding his church’s September 4th hearing
“California Church seeks Full Court Review Amidst Criminal Threats,” Quote: “Liberty Counsel just requested the full panel of judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear our case involving Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which includes 162 California churches…CA Gov. Gavin Newsom has been abusing churches and Christians for over seven months. Instead of easing restrictions, his discrimination against churches has become more severe. Gov. Newsom still bans ALL WORSHIP in most of the state, including where Harvest Rock Church is located.” https://lc.org/newsroom/details/ca-church-seeks-full-court-review-amidst-criminal-threats?fbclid=IwAR3g4YHyoq4x-V_ZxnXODNlOCmBIgA6JF8V7ihLzrjZozNmsdSRb_W7MAxs
“California Church Goes to Court Facing $350,000 Fines Despite Zero COVID Cases,” (11/02/20), https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2020/november/ca-church-goes-to-court-facing-350-000-fines-despite-zero-covid-cases
Persecution in Illinois
In May, the Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois stated that the state’s churches may not reopen for a year or more due to the coronavirus. (“Illinois Governor Says Churches May Not Fully Reopen for a Year or More Because of Coronavirus,” https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/illinois-governor-says-churches-may-not-reopen-for-a-year-or-more-because-of-coronavirus)
Then, Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago got nasty and had various church parking lots blocked in spite of the churches “peaceably gathering” in unison with other churches around the country. (“Chicago Blocked Church Parking Lots, Mayor Threatens Fines,” https://www.foxnews.com/us/coronavirus-illinois-church-chicago-service-reopen; “Pastor Urges Faith Leaders to Reopen in Defiance of Governors’ Coronavirus Orders: ‘Step Up and Roar,” https://www.foxnews.com/media/pastor-brian-gibson-faith-leaders-reopen-coronavirus-governors). Though things appeared to have died down, in recent days, things have gotten even nastier as the mayor and other leadership of Chicago called churches that are continuing to meet “public nuisances,” and threatened to bulldoze any church that defies their orders. “According to the city of Chicago, it now “has the power and duty to cause all nuisances affecting the health of the public to be abated.” The city has also threatened a “summary abatement,” which means it could try to raze the two churches’ facilities if they refuse to comply with its orders.” (“Chicago Threatens to Bulldoze for Not Complying with Coronavirus Orders,” https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-07-15-chicago-threatens-bulldoze-churches-not-complying-coronavirus-orders.html; “Facing Fines and Threat of Closure, Churches Continue to Hold Services: “There Is Not Going To Be A Standdown,” https://chicago.suntimes.com/coronavirus/2020/5/24/21269156/facing-threat-closure-city-encouragement-trump-churches-hold-services
“Don’t Let It Happen Here,” Quote: “Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot are repeating Romania’s persecution of Christians – and some of the same pastors who suffered under the brutal Romanian regime are dragging Gov. Pritzker to the U.S. Supreme Court.” https://lc.org/newsroom/details/20201016dont-let-it-happen-here?fbclid=IwAR1lvpukZQ8SnuUvxRO1yPYrtdPoOAZp2NF1BGgxpvuSSE07E7ksIoOUS3E
Persecution in Maine
Governor Janet Mills’ orders remain in effect that churches may not gather even for outdoor services. Non-religious services, such as social services or feeding the hungry, can take place within the churches’ parameters, but “religious” services may not. “Gov. Mills said that churches will only be allowed to meet in small numbers when she is satisfied with the “metrics,” and when that happens, she will require churches to apply to reopen. Approved churches will then need to display a “badge” at the front door signifying they are approved to open. However, Gov. Mills has no process in place now to begin the approval process and no application for the churches. Even the notion that churches would have to apply to reopen and display a “badge” signifying approval is offensive to the First Amendment.” (“Maine Church Takes Governor’s Orders to Court of Appeals,” (https://lc.org/newsroom/details/maine-church-takes-governors-orders-to-court-of-appeals). While churches are held to such a standard, all other places of businesses are allowed to reopen and operate without threat or need to fill out applications for approval, and any protests are allowed without question or legal warning.
“Orrington Church Fights Maine’s Coronavirus Restrictions in Federal Appeals Court,” (Calvary Chapel church) https://www.newsbreak.com/maine/orrington/news/2057789479592/orrington-church-fights-maines-coronavirus-restrictions-in-federal-appeals-court
Persecution in Kentucky
“Gov. Andy Beshear who had been warned not once, not twice, but three times by a Federal Court and the Department of Justice not to attack churches. Beshear defied all these warnings and sent State Troopers to give “quarantine notices” to every person in their cars who were in our client’s parking lot for an Easter service. Yet, the same people could have parked in a liquor store lot and listened to the pastor on the radio with no problem.” (“Pastors in 30 States Under Siege,” https://lc.org/newsroom/details/20200420-pastors-in-30-states-under-siege)
Quote from article below: “Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The Court of Appeals reaffirmed that Maryville Baptist Church continues to have the protection of the injunction that blocked Gov. Andy Beshear’s prior orders. Churches have a constitutional right to meet, and the First Amendment does not disappear during a crisis. Governor Beshear clearly targeted this church and violated these church members’ religious freedom. If Gov. Beshear attempts to reimpose restrictions on churches, we will return to the Court of Appeals to stop him.”
Persecution in Virginia
The Virgina Governor Northam has unashamedly called on Virginians to “snitch” on any and everyone not obeying his phase 2 orders. “Regarding in-person worship services, under Northam’s Phase Two rules, “religious services must be limited to no more than 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load…Individuals attending religious services must be at least six feet apart when seated and must practice proper physical distancing at all times (with the exception of family members).”” The penalty for breaking this man-made rule: up to a year in jail or a $2,500 fine. But a double standard is in play, for the governor himself has been seen in selfies with beach goers and none of them were wearing masks. On top of this, protestors get by with everything and without threat of reprisal. (“VA Governor Encourages Snitching on Churchgoers,” https://canadafreepress.com/article/va-governor-encourages-snitching-on-churchgoers; “Repressing Churches While Encouraging Riots,” https://lc.org/newsroom/details/20200604repressing-churches-while-encouraging-riots).
More recently, according to the Liberty Council website, criminal charges against a pastor in Virginia were recently dropped. According to other news sources, Pastor Tony Spell of Louisiana is still calling America to repentance (“On July 4th, About 200 Attend Baton Rouge “Save America Rally,” Say Enough Is Enough,” https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_cd7d7190-be35-11ea-9e84-0ff8bebb754a.html).
Persecution in North Carolina
David Benham, along with other from Cities4Life, gathered outside of an abortion clinic as usual on Saturday. There they, as usual, prayed and spoke with women entering the clinic. In spite of this, he was arrested. “David Benham Was Arrested Simply for Exercising his First Amendment Right — to Pray,” https://adflegal.org/david-benham/donate?sourcecode=10013372&fbclid=IwAR0Gf19JeBzMm4dhrJVNbfCExsSVkix1xIvN5dFfma8LrdEFzQGFqq1RdfI
Persecution in New Mexico
“A federal judge in New Mexico meanwhile, has ruled against a New Mexico church that filed suit to keep its doors open. Judge James Browning ruled it is not a violation of religious freedom to ban church services during a public health crisis. The suit was brought by Legacy Church, located in Albuquerque.” (“Christian Apologist: No Time to Keep Doors Shut,” July 16th https://onenewsnow.com/church/2020/07/16/christian-apologist-no-time-for-churches-to-keep-doors-shut)
“Arizona Governor is Granted the Right to Forcibly Vaccinate and Indefinitely Confine Individuals With Absolutely No Legal Oversight,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syJa49HdxSI; https://thecommonsenseshow.com/activism-agenda-21-conspiracy/arizona-gov-granted-right-forcibly-vaccinate-and-indefintely-confine-indiviudals-absolutely-no
Persecution in Maryland
“Pastor Refuses to Stop In-Person Church Services,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uSEp0rQkvg
“Pastor Tears Up Cease and Desist Order Over In-Person Services: “We’re Gonna Do It God’s Way,” https://thehill.com/homenews/news/498980-pastor-tears-up-cease-and-desist-over-in-person-services-were-gonna-do-it-gods
“Baltimore Fines For Holding Services While Thousands Protest in the Streets,” https://hotair.com/archives/jazz-shaw/2020/06/13/baltimore-fines-church-holding-services-thousands-protest-streets/
Persecution in Mississippi
“Mississippi Principle Orders 3rd Grader to Remove Jesus Loves Me Mask,” (November 5, 2020), https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/11/05/mississippi-principal-orders-3rd-grader-to-remove-jesus-loves-me-mask/
Other Supreme Court Unconstitutional Rulings:
“Supreme Court Rules That LGBT Americans Are Protected from Discrimination,” June 16, 2020, https://www.houstonpress.com/news/us-supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-lgbt-rights-11477420
“The Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Rights…” June 30, 2020, https://theintercept.com/2020/06/30/louisiana-abortion-law-supreme-court/
Words of Warning:
“Justice Alito Warns of Dangers to Free Speech…” (Quote from article: According to Justice Alito, “In certain quarters religious liberty has fast become a disfavored right,” he said. “For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom. It’s often just an excuse for bigotry and it can’t be tolerated even when there’s no evidence that anybody has been harmed.”) https://www.foxnews.com/politics/justice-alito-warns-of-dangers-to-free-speech-religious-liberty-in-federalist-society-address?utm_source=wnd&utm_medium=wnd&utm_campaign=syndicated
Older but Relevant Persecution
(Coach Joe Kennedy of Bremerton, Wa)
August 24, 2017 (began in 2015): The 9th Circuit court ruled against the free speech/freedom of religion rights of this Bremerton, WA. high school teacher–Coach Joe Kennedy, who for eight years had been praying with his players at the end of their football games.
The Supreme Court in January 2019 refused to hear the case. The District Court heard the case, but ruled against the coach. This case is now heading to the 9th Circuit Court again. “Coach Kennedy Case,” July 23, 2020, https://firstliberty.org/cases/coachkennedy/
“Praying Football Coach Suspended After Satanists Plan Invocation,” October 29, 2015, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coach-joe-kennedy-satan_n_56316e81e4b00aa54a4cb520
(Melissa and Aaron Klein of Sweet Cakes in Oregon)
“Supreme Court passes on case involving baker who refused to make wedding cake for same-sex couple,” June 17, 2029, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-passes-on-new-case-involving-baker-who-refused-to-make-wedding-cake/2019/06/17/f78c5ae0-7a71-11e9-a5b3-34f3edf1351e_story.html
“Oregon bakery owners pay more than $135G in damages over refusal to make cake for gay wedding,” December 29, 2015, https://www.foxnews.com/us/oregon-bakery-owners-pay-more-than-135g-in-damages-over-refusal-to-make-cake-for-gay-wedding
(Jack Philips of Masterpiece Bakery in Colorado)
“Christian baker sued for discrimination for a third time,” June 12, 2019, https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/christian-baker-sued-for-discrimination-for-a-third-time
“Washington Supreme Court rules against florist who refused service for gay couple’s wedding,” June 6, 2019, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/washington-supreme-court-rules-against-florist-who-refused-service-for-gay-couples-wedding
(Elaine and John Huguenin of Elane’s Photography in New Mexico)
“New Mexico Court: Christian Business Owners Have No Rights,” June 6, 2012, https://thenewamerican.com/new-mexico-court-christian-business-owners-have-no-rights/
“Court rules against photographer in gay bias case,” August 22, 2013, https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/court-rules-against-photographer-in-gay-bias-case/article_8f166505-2a3f-557d-b96d-bb0469e212ca.html
“US supreme court declines appeal of photographer who refused gay couple,” April 7, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/07/supreme-court-gay-marriage-new-mexico-photographer
(This site, by Stephen Beale, a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island, lists a host of other Christians under attack for their moral stand — plus the demise of the U.S. Christian’s Constitutional rights)
“Petition to protect U.S. military chaplains’ right to pray gathers 160,000 signatures…” December 22, 2005, https://www.tldm.org/news8/persecutionmilitarychaplains.htm
“Christians Are Being Systematically Purged From The U.S. Military,” April 2015, http://endoftheamericandream.com/christians-are-being-systematically-purged-from-the-u-s-military/
“Chaplain Sonny Hernandez Criticized for Column on Religious Freedom,” September 18, 2017, http://christianfighterpilot.com/2017/09/18/chaplain-sonny-hernandez-criticized-for-column-on-religious-freedom/