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Court declines to punish MacArthur, church

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 8/20/20, 06:20 pm

A California judge turned down Los Angeles County’s request to hold Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in contempt on Thursday. County officials claimed the church broke a court order by holding indoor, in-person worship services without following state and local health guidelines, blocked officials from entering the building, and should pay thousands of dollars in fines.

Why did the judge say no? Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff clarified that after a legal tussle last week, there was no active court order barring the church from gathering for worship, so he couldn’t hold the church in contempt. MacArthur’s church in Sun Valley, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, has held services indoors for the past four weeks in defiance of state and county restrictions with no masks or social distancing. The church has sued the county and state for banning indoor worship services due to the coronavirus pandemic. A full hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Dig deeper: Read WORLD’s report in Liberties for background on the ongoing fight between MacArthur and California governmental officials.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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