[dc]L[/dc]os Angeles County lost another battle in its bid to stop Grace Community Church from meeting indoors. Today, Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff found that, contrary to the County’s representation, the Sun Valley megachurch led by Pastor John MacArthur did not violate any court order because no court order prohibited the congregation from meeting indoors.

Yesterday, when the County asked the court to levy sanctions of $20,000  against the pastor and the church, the county wrote, “Grace Church cannot thumb its nose at the court when decisions don’t go its way.” The reality is, according to Judge Beckloff’s findings, there was no order that the church had violated.

The reprieve will likely be temporary, and the court has scheduled a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss whether the county has medical evidence to support the need to shut down the church. The church has alleged that the county is impermissibly treating religious gatherings differently than social justice gatherings.

Last Friday, Judge James Chalfant said that the county had the burden of proof to demonstrate why the county “should be permitted to infringe on the constitutionally protected rights of churches to freely exercise religion.”

This week, shutdowns of indoor religious services have entered their sixth month in California with no end in sight.



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