Landlord Changes Locks After Church Defies Lockdown

Oakland’s Fox affiliate reports:

Members of a central California church found themselves locked out of the bulding after the pastor originally kept his doors open, saying the shelter-in-place orders violated his freedom to assemble. But within the past week, the landlord of the Cross Culture Christian Center in Lodi, Calif. changed the locks, so congregants couldn’t enter the building for Palm Sunday services. The landlord is Bethel Open Bible Church.

Pastor Jon Duncan had continued to hold in-person services despite the coronavirus outbreak. “We’re going to meet as often as we can meet, and we do believe that this right is protected by the 1st Amendment and should be considered essential,” Duncan said in an interview with Fox 40 last week. The San Joaquin County Health Department had ordered the church to shut down last week.

Bolding is mine.

(Via The Friendly Atheist)