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CA Church Fined, 'Harassed' by County After Suing Newsom for COVID Closures of 'Nonessential' Churches

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A Los Angeles County church was fined by the local health department after two employees witnessed women in prayer veils leaving the sanctuary.

Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Arcadia, California filed a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Sept. 29 over his endless "state of emergency" and what they believe are unconstitutional COVID-19 restrictions that he has imposed upon houses of worship.

Shortly after the suit was filed, two "Environmental Health Specialists" arrived at the church and handed over a $1,000 fine. The citation was issued on Oct. 15 and says that members of the church "were congregating indoors of the church by evidence of the individuals exiting the structure."

The Thomas More Society, which is representing the church, called out the health department for their scrutiny and intimidation.

"It's ironic," said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna. "There are dozens of churches in Arcadia – and hundreds in Los Angeles County – yet the parish of Father Burfitt, who is suing Los Angeles County, happens to be a church that these county workers choose to spy on and harass."

Then, the same two county "specialists" returned to the church on Oct. 20 and threatened to issue more citations.

"They sent county inspectors over to the church a few times and attempted to eject two women praying in a 500-capacity church, basically alone in the church—just praying, worshiping God and they were threatened with citations for being inside the church," Jonna added.

Father Trevor Burfitt, who oversees the church, filed the lawsuit against Gov. Newsom and notes that the lockdown was supposed to be "temporary." 

"Nearly seven months later it appears that absent judicial intervention, there will never be a 'reopening' to normal, pre-COVID activity, despite incontestable facts – including California's own data…showing that the lockdown is no longer warranted and is causing far more harm than good," the complaint reads. 

"Governor Newsom intends to continue, indefinitely, a massive and baseless suspension of the constitutional rights of Father Burfitt and nearly 40 million other residents of the state of California," Jonna declared. "He continues to levy strict limits or outright prohibitions on public and private worship activities, which continue to be designated as 'nonessential,' while liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, and the Hollywood movie industry are allowed to operate unhindered."

Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church is among the many sanctuaries facing persecution by the authority of Gov. Newsom.

Grace Community Church in Sun Valley has gone through a round of legal battles but vows to continue to fight and protect religious freedom for the church. 

Jack Trieber, pastor of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, said his church is facing financial penalties in the thousands for gathering at indoor worship services. 

And Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks was found to be in contempt of court after violating Newsom's orders prohibiting in-person worship, including home Bible studies and fellowship.

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About The Author

Andrea Morris

Andrea Morris is a Features Producer for The 700 Club. She came to CBN in 2019 where she worked as a web producer in the news department for three years. Her passion was always to tell human interest stories that would touch the hearts of readers while connecting them with God. She transitioned into her new role with The 700 Club in August 2022.