Protesters and congregants clashed Sunday after a church in California held home services in defiance of a judge’s temporary detention order, according to a report.
Rob McCoy, pastor at Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Ventura County, held Sunday morning service in the face of a judge’s order supporting state and local health mandates aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
McCoy’s decision joins other pastors in the state to oppose the coronavirus mandates they say unjustly targets places of worship. His decision to retain the service attracted supporters and opponents.
PORTLAND OIL MONTH MONTH MONTH MONTH DIVISION OF COR CORONAVIRUSES BEFORE RIOT, FIRE AT AT POLICE STATION
“There̵7;s a lot of room to have beautiful outdoor services and he chooses to break the rules. And I think that’s not the case,” Shana Radashaw told Fox 11 Los Angeles. “I think God wants people to live and be healthy and not spread disease when we don’t need it.”
Others said attending church was their right to freedom of expression and worship, and nothing replaces the feeling of going to a personal service, according to the station.
“We are seeing a loss of all rights, but the right of the church, this is the foundation of this country and we are very serious about it. So yes, we are going to jail for it,” Ginny Murry said.
“Being in communion with your church actually means being able to come together and feel that power, and I believe there is an agenda out there for people to try to divide us,” Sandra Efraimson added.
CALIFORNIA PASTOR DEFIES CORONAVIRUS DISTRICT DISTRICTS HEAD OF ARREST: NEWSOM ‘THERE IS NO CHIEF OF THE CHURCH’
Morning service-run networks showed a masked McCoy standing in front of what he called “a room full of people” – with most captured in unmasked videos.
“I see a room full of people who understand that freedom is not the idea of man, it is the idea of God,” McCoy said during the service. “And you will be ridiculed and mistreated, but you are doing it for those who ridicule and mistreat you.”
McCoy told FOX 11 the reason he did not keep services outside is that one staff member has sun allergies and there is not a park so large nearby to accommodate all of their members.
The pastor on Friday vowed to continue serving, despite Ventura County High Court Judge Matthew Guasco issued the temporary detention order, citing: “an immediate threat to public health and safety due to the coronavirus romanit 2019 “.
CLICK HERE TG ALL APP FOX NEWS
“On a scale of one to 10 of the most immediate irreparable damage possible, this is a 10,” Guasco said during a hearing. “It does not become much more immediate or irreparable than the threat that many people will spread a contagious and deadly disease.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report