Attorneys for Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry in Pasadena, California, have announced a settlement of a religious freedom lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials related to that state’s discriminatory treatment of churches related to COVID restrictions. The agreement, approved by a federal district court judge, results in a permanent injunction blocking the state from treating churches differently from similarly situated secular businesses and entities with its pandemic rules, plus awards $1.35 million to the church for attorneys fees incurred in defending its constitutional rights.
The dispute goes back to the summer of 2020, when the church brought a lawsuit against the state for its COVID restrictions that treated houses of worship less favorably than secular businesses. At times those orders completely prohibited worship gatherings for over 90% of Californians, and even prohibited home Bible studies.
Harvest Rock’s case has been up to the U.S. Supreme Court twice since then, and on the last occasion, the high court issued an order on February 5, 2021 blocking California’s total ban on indoor worship. From The Daily Citizen.