Judge Bars John MacArthur’s Church From Holding Indoor Services

Published: September 11, 2020  Updated: September 11, 2020 at 8:40 am EST

A megachurch that has defied Los Angeles County’s pandemic health orders was temporarily barred from holding Sunday worship services indoors, under a judge’s ruling Thursday.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff sided with public health officials, who took legal action last month to enforce health orders against Grace Community Church, an evangelical congregation in Sun Valley that has been holding Sunday worship services indoors since July 26.

“While the court is mindful that there is no substitute for indoor worship in the ‘spiritual refuge’ of a sanctuary, the court cannot ignore the County Health Order does not dictate a ban on worship,” Beckloff wrote in his decision granting the county’s request for a preliminary injunction. The order remains in effect until the issue is resolved.

The order allows outdoor services — which were already permitted under the county’s public health order — only if the church follows physical distancing and face covering measures.

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