The United House of Prayer for All People (UHOP) in Charlotte, North Carolina, flouted restrictions until the county issued an abatement order after nearly 200 members contracted COVID-19 and six died from the virus.
Churches throughout the country have had mixed success in fighting their legal battles over restrictions on in-person worship. In October, Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California, was denied an emergency injunction, but two churches in Colorado recently won a preliminary injunction. In July, the Supreme Court ruled against Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in Reno, Nevada. The church had appealed to expand its attendance to be comparable to the allowances made for the state’s casinos and other businesses.
It is important to note that the legal situations of churches throughout the country are not all the same, nor are all churches engaging with the government in the same way. California pastor Joe Garcia says that he has been harassed by the city of La Habra Heights and a church neighbor even though his church, Word Aflame Tabernacle, has followed all restrictions for meeting during the pandemic. The pastor filed a lawsuit in October against the city, a city manager, and the church neighbor.
Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) in Washington D.C. has sued the city and Mayor Muriel Bowser over the right to meet, but unlike Grace Community Church, CHBC is following government restrictions in the meantime.