California Church Faces Eviction After Filing Lawsuit Over Unfair Coronavirus Restrictions

( A church in California that has been fighting the state and county’s coronavirus restrictions is now facing eviction.

Grace Community Church received a notice recently from Los Angeles County informing them that authorities would be cancelling a lease the church has had for 45 years. The church will lose its lease on a parking lot it has had, and the county has threatened to remove them forcibly if the church doesn’t vacate.

The letter sent to the church from the county said:

“If Grace fails to vacate the premise as required, the District may enter the premises and remove Grace’s personal property in accordance with the Agreement and applicable law, and Grace will be responsible for any resultant expenses incurred by the District.”

Back in July, Grace resumed indoor religious services. But officials continued to place restrictions on the church and other religious institutions while allowing police brutality demonstrations to occur that had thousands of people attend.

That prompted Grace to file a lawsuit that said their First Amendment rights were violated, as political leaders favored protests over religious services. Last week, a judge denied the county’s attempt to get a temporary restraining order to shut down church services. A full hearing is scheduled for this Friday.

But now, Grace Community Church must face the fact that it’s being removed from its property in other ways.

The special counsel to the Thomas More Society, Jenna Ellis, said this tactic by LA County is serving as a punishment to Grace Church since it requested to be treated on the same level as the protesters.

She said county officials are attempting to “abuse their power through burdensome, restrictive and unconstitutional orders.” Those who don’t abide or who even raise a hand questioned the orders are subject to retaliation.

“L.A. County is clearly trying to evict Grace Church from use of their parking lot for no other reason than because Pastor John [MacArthur] stood firm and is challenging their power. This is the essence of tyranny,” she said.

Grace Community Church has until October 1 to vacate the parking lot. They have maintained that lease on the parking lot since 1975, without interruption. The county’s Public Works Department hasn’t responded to requests for comment from media sources.

Ellis, who is also a campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, reminded people that the upcoming presidential election shouldn’t blind them to the critical importance of local elections. They are often more impactful on people’s day-to-day rights than the election for the country’s highest elected official.

“This kind of blatant retaliation from government shows why state and local elections are so critically important,” Ellis said. “We have to put in office at every level people who understand their obligation is to protect and preserve the rights of pastors like John MacArthur to assemble and freely exercise religion.”

Grace Community Church is just one of several across the country that have filed lawsuits regarding unfair treatment by governments compared to local Black Lives Matter protests.